The metro

I absolutely love the metro in St Petersburg.  The builds are impressive and they had a team of people doing a thorough job of cleaning the escalators (I am sure that someone cleans stuff on the Tube but I’ve never seen it).

I wondered what important civic building this is - it is the entrance to the metro
I wondered what important civic building this is – it is the entrance to the metro
Fantastic ceiling
Fantastic ceiling
Deep escalator
Deep escalator
The metro
The metro

St Isaac and the Church on the Spilled Blood

Under the Soviets, St Isaac’s was turned into the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism.  It is still a museum, although there was a service going on in the left hand chapel.

St Isaac
St Isaac
View from the top
View from the top
Another one from the top
Another one from the top
Impressive ceiling
Impressive ceiling
The church
The church

The Church on the Spilled Blood is rather more exotic (to my way of thinking).

Church on the spilled blood
Church on the Spilled Blood
Ceiling
Ceiling
The walls are covered in mosaics
The walls are covered in mosaics

The hermitage and winter palace

The Hermitage is HUGE.  We were there for quite a few hours but really only saw a tiny fraction of it.  The winter palace is so enormous, it makes Versailles look small and poky.

The winter palace
The winter palace
The general staff building
The general staff building

I took a few photos but:

  • almost certainly there will be much better photos of it taken by someone else;
  • it was very crowded so quite a few of my photos were mainly Chinese tourists wielding selfie sticks; and
  • there is a limit to how many photos I could be arsed to take.

I found the ceilings the most impressive.

DSCF6776

DSCF6783

DSCF6784

DSCF6785

DSCF6788

M pointed out that, even if they wanted to, the tsars wouldn’t have gone into most of the rooms because there wouldn’t have been time in the day.

This was very grand
This was very grand
And this!
And this!

It got to the point where I was becoming indifferent to rooms covered in gold leaf.  The chandeliers were beautiful – they must have had a team of servants whose job it was to clean and light them.

Lilac

One thing I did notice about St Petersburg was how lovely their lilac is.  I must have come at exactly the right time because my lilac has gone over but all their lilac was looking terrific.

Lilac in front of a flowering horse chestnut tree
Lilac in front of a flowering horse chestnut tree
Dark and light lilac
Dark and light lilac
Light lilac and white lilac
Light lilac and white lilac

It takes a while for lilac to grow to be this size.  They must have great gardeners.  Plus, I love the way they’ve put different coloured lilac next to each other.  I might try this in either London or the IoW.  It won’t look like this though.

Bluebells

On Saturday, we met up with my husband’s family.  My kids were really happy – my son told his cousins that he’d really missed them.

We went for a walk in Ashridge to find some bluebells.  This is a really nice spot – from memory, Elizabeth I owned the estate before she became queen.  It is very muddy though so bring wellies.

Bluebells
Bluebells