After a delicious lunch in a 5-star restaurant, we re-boarded the mini-bus to visit more of downtown St Petersburg’s spectacular attractions. This afternoon’s schedule includes a couple of Russian Orthodox churches and another palace, which is still being restored. The tour included both the opulence of the formal rooms and the rather stark confines of the basement.
Departing the restaurant, it was a short drive to our first stop, which included passing the Faberge Museum, as we drove along the banks of the Fontanka River. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time in the schedule to visit this museum.
Enjoy the many photographs of the remainder of our first day in St. Petersburg.
In the 1600’s, the ruling Swedish colonists, constructed a fort at the mouth of the Neva River. During the Great Northern War, Tsar Peter I, also known as Peter the Great, won those coastal lands, providing Russia with his long sought Baltic coastline. On winning control, he inaugurated the city of St Petersburg in 1703, with construction of Peter and Paul Fortress.
A very new city by European standards, its magnificent architecture, river and canal network has the city frequently referred to as, “Venice of the North”. A very apt reference.
During WWI, St Petersburg was deemed to sound too German, so the Tsar changed the name to Petrograd, which was subsequently changed to Leningrad, by the communists, after the 1917 revolution. In 1991, the citizens voted on renaming the city, with the majority favouring a return to St Petersburg.
After a long day visiting Berlin, we enjoyed a relaxing, full day at sea, before docking in Tallinn, the following day about 11:00. Perfect timing, as after a leisurely breakfast, I wandered up to the Sun Deck on a rather blustery day, to watch the arrival.
In Tallinn, we booked a 5 hr city highlights and Old Town Walking Tour with Alla Tours, the same company we are using in St Petersburg. Our group of 5 passengers met our excellent guide and driver outside the dock gate, which was the start of an exceptional tour – vastly superior to the 50 seat tour bus the ship provides.
This post covers the city drive portion and the following post will cover the Old Town walking tour.