I have been going out each day looking at the many, many palaces here in Saint Petersburg. They are what make Saint Petersburg one of the most beautiful cities on Earth, or so I'm told. The nobles who built these things were rich beyond imagination. This one is Peterhof.
Inside, the palaces were absolutely stunning.
And while the royalty lived like this, the peasants were thrown in jail for life if they stole so much as a loaf of bread to feed their starving families. Of course, this was true not only for Russia, but throughout Europe back in those days.
I guess I might have qualified as a peasant myself because I could not even have afforded the floor in a single room of a palace.
And look at this library. Of course, since the books were written in Russian it would not have done me any good. Still, I'm jealous (not really).
Catherine the Great, who had been dead a long time before the Bolsheviks took over her castle, had a beautiful home with about a thousand rooms in it. Now, it is the famous Hermitage Museum. This was the main entrance for Catherine, and it is still used for the museum today.
I enjoyed looking at the beautiful rooms in the Hermitage, but there were some art works in there also that I had to pay a little bit of attention to. This is, I guess, the most famous of them. It is by Leonardo Da Vinci.
I was a little surprised that there was nowhere inside where I could not take a picture.
Outside, there were lots of people dressed up in period costume. They were willing to pose with you for a fee. There were also a lot of carriages from the period. I especially liked this one -- Look out Cinderella, you might not make it to the ball tonight without your carriage.
I've been having a little trouble with the language here. Not only are the words alien to me, but I don't really understand the alphabet. Look at this sign at a fence around a fountain.
Fortunately I downloaded a translation app to my phone, and if I point my phone at a sign it will give it to me in English (sort of). Here it is telling me not to jump the fence and get into the fountain.
Speaking of fountains, what do you think of these at the Peterhof Palace?
And here is another great picture at Peterhof.
The fountains were pretty, but I was possibly more taken with this squirrel. It is not a species I have ever seen before.
Here is one last picture of showers, and then it is time for me to hit the shower myself here at my hostel, and then it is off to bed. Djin and I have a long ride ahead of us tomorrow. We want to get half way to Moscow, and are looking at staying near a national park. Vladimir Putin also stays at that park, or so I am told, but I bet he won't want us to drop in for a visit.