After a day of sightseeing we went out to the Ballet! We saw Swan Lake at the Hermitage and it was as beautiful as you would imagine! I had never seen a ballet performance before besides The Nutcracker and I love it. The only downside was that after a full day of sightseeing and wandering the Hermitage I was so exhausted that I almost fell asleep/ might have fallen asleep right before the intermission haha…. But not because of the show! Because it was gorgeous.
The theater itself was also beautiful, something right out of the grand old days of St. Petersburg.
Overlooking the Neva River….
The beautiful theater!
On our second day in St. Petersburg we spent the day exploring the Palaces of the Tsars. We spent the morning at Catherine’s Palace and the afternoon at Peterhof. We were lucky enough to get to go into both Palaces and have time to explore the grounds. They were absolutely spectacular, so opulent and stunningly grand.
This is Catherine’s Palace, built for Catherine I and made popular by Catherine the Great.
The palace is gorgeous, and its so beautiful inside that it’s hard to believe that the Nazis actually destroyed most of it during WWII. Russia has restored the palace back to its former glory and it is breathtaking.
Catherine’s Palace is also home to the famous Amber Room, which, though remade, mysteriously vanished during WWII. The Germans took it with them when they left the Palace and it was probably destroyed at some point after that accidentally. But every once in a while people claim that it has turned up, only to be proven wrong yet again.
After the morning at Catherine’s Palace we went to Peterhof, which was Peter the Great’s Palace, and is known for it’s unbelievable fountains. There were no photos allowed inside but we were able to take plenty of the fountains. Peter the Great even hid some behind the trees and would turn them on when couples would sneak away for romantic walks. Always a kidder, that Peter.
Such beautiful Palaces and such a wonderful peek in the massive opulence of the Tsars. It makes you see how over-the-top their lifestyle was, and why the Russian people would eventually revolt. It was an incredible two days in Russia, so unlike the rest of the Western European world, and I learned so much about Russia’s history. Now on to Helsinki!!