St. Petersburg – Day 1

Hermitage– We followed the directions on our map and walked to the Hermitage…ended up going to the back by the river but eventually circled the whole building and ended up in the huge square and found the front door. There was no line up for tickets . We bought our tickets to enter and camera ticket and audio guide ..we started without the audio guide but we were feeling so lost. The guide was great and directed us into the area.

It is unreal…the grand staircase in itself is so much . Priceless art from all over We spent most of our time in the Italian art section…saw some art from some of the worlds most famous artists. The audio guide help us to better appreciate what we were seeing. We saw paintings by Monet, Leonardo Deviancy , Antonio Canova, and Michelangelo’s crouching boy.

The palace rooms in themselves were so amazing …pillars and mantels and huge urns in green matricide. Then there was the gold room and the room filled with chandeliers.

We spent 4.5 hours there in all and really only touched on the highlights. We grabbed a sandwich in the cafeteria to save time. I was happy there but it saved me as I was getting pretty exhausted.

IVONOFF HOUSE – After a much needed rest in our room we thought we’d head out for some Russian food for dinner.

Finally we spotted one on Nevsky called Ivanoff House. Its decorated like a Farm kitchen but lights were too bright for my liking. I had a glass of wine and Pat had a beer in a ridiculously large mug .I couldn’t even pick up too heavy. We shared the caviar which was delicious, and we each shared the pork dinner with such huge serving.


  1. One of my favourite places in the world except I visited when it was Leningrad and part of the former Soviet Union in 1989. My Contiki Tour consisted of mainly young Australians looking for adventure as part of a three-week camping tour. Such a different place then. Hardly any cars on the road, food was hit and miss, but plenty of bootleg vodka and champagne! The bookstore was the place for swapping/selling western goods including cigarettes, lipstick, jeans and pantyhose with the locals. I have lots of Russian badges from that trip.
    I have always wanted to return to St Petersburg to spend more time exploring the Hermitage for one which is an amazing site. There was an exhibition of art from The Hermitage which came to the Melbourne National Gallery of Art a few years ago. It was strange seeing these items away from their home space but really interesting and a lovely reminder of my trip. Thank you for sharing your photos and travel experiences. Lynn


  2. We visited the Hermitage in January 1984 when St Petersburg was still Leningrad! I remember most the exterior in the snow and the grandeur of the rooms, rather than the exhibits. Surely I would have remembered if I’d seen that Michelangelo??? Sounds like the food has improved since we were there!


  3. I visited the Hermitage Museum and even though I spend two hours inside, I did not see everything. You definitely need days just to cover everything! The meal afterwards looks delicious and hearty; I hope you had more fun and adventures in Saint Petersburg after that!


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