Friday, June 12, 2015

#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - St Petersburg

#FriFotos Theme: #ROADS

We've saved the best for last from our Scandinavia / Russia (Baltic) cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation.  Can you guess where we are?

Final in a Series of Posts

In this port, you may not tour on your own.  To do so would require a visa, which isn't easy to obtain.  Therefore touring needs to be through the cruise line or arranged in advance with a local tour company.  We formed a group of 40 people through Red October.  We saw plenty of #Roads as we toured via motor coach for two days.

Our final #FriFotos entries are from St. Petersburg, Russia.  For those of you not familiar with the forum, it is hosted by . The theme is revealed every Tuesday 12pm ET.    Recently, @spencerspellman joined the team as a permanent co-host.  We  co-hosted one week late last year and continue to contribute with images from our archives whenever possible.

On the Road - St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia.  It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea.

Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Westernized city of Russia, as well as its cultural capital. Therefore it is not surprising to see #roads filled with cars, buses, and trucks.  This picture looks like a typical rush hour back home.

Taking an organized tour is the best way to take advantage of your two days in Russia.

Our Day 1 tour started with City Highlights including St. Nicholas’s Church, Theatre Square with Mariinsky Theatre, St. Isaac’s Square, majestic St. Isaac Cathedral, “Bronze Horseman” – the most famous monument to Peter the Great.

We drove by the Savior on the Spilled Blood Cathedral for a photo stop (we'd go inside on Day 2). After a shopping stop, we drove to Peter and Paul Fortress. We opted to have lunch on the bus to save time. The next stop was at Peterhof: “Russian Versailles”, official Summer Residence of Russian Tsars. We strolled through the wonderful “Lower Park” with its 150 fountains, cascades and various pavilion and palaces. After returning to the ship, many of us went on the Folklore Boat Tour with Dinner offered by Red October.

Day 2 started with a departure for Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin) which is 25km/15 miles south of St. Petersburg. We had an inside visit to the Catherine Palace founded by Peter I for his wife Catherine I and later re-built and enlarged for their daughter Empress Elizabeth. The highlight of this is the Amber Room (unfortunately photography is not allowed in that room). We drove back into St. Petersburg and had an interior visit to the Savior of Spilled Blood Cathedral. Our final stop was at the Hermitage.

Due to the Birthday Celebration, traffic was going to be closed starting at 2 PM on Nevsky Avenue, the central street of the city. We had our lunch on the bus and the driver dropped us off in front of the Hermitage. The highlight of that visit is the Gold Room, which has an extra charge. No photography is allowed in there, however. I opted not to bring my camera with me at all, so I don't have an album for the Hermitage. We had a short walk to meet our bus driver and then we headed back to the pier. This was truly the highlight of the cruise. 

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What #Roads have you traveled? 

There is still time to share your pictures on #FriFotos.  If you don't have any to share at this time, check out what others are posting.   This forum is a great way to explore the world from the comforts of your chair.

Other Posts in the Series

#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - Tallinn
#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - Helsingborg
#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - Helsinki
#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - Stockholm
#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - Copenhagen
#FriFotos Takes to the Roads - Oslo 

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