Day 5 - St. Petersburg, Russia
|Wednesday, July 3, 2002: Sunrise was at 4:47 AM, but we slept in and missed it. We spent our second day in Russia touring St. Petersburg. Here's a square and statue that Tom swears he saw Pierce Brosnan destroy in "Goldeneye."|
|Here is Tom posing in front of the Neva River with a view in the distance of the Winter Palace, which houses the Hermitage Museum.|
|We toured the Church of the Spilt Blood. It is just as beautiful as St. Basil's Cathedral on the outside ...|
|... and absolutely unbelievable on the inside. Do yourself a favor and look at the larger views of these photographs.|
|The church walls are covered with hundreds of tile mosaics.|
|Even the ceilings have been painstakingly tiled into intricate designs.|
|Every place you look in the church is breathtaking.|
|There are several ornate altars, including this one under a domed ceiling covered in mosaics.|
|The church was built over the cobblestones where Czar Alexander II was assassinated. Just past the golden gates are the actual cobblestones of the original site.|
|Outside the church, we finally get a shot of the Schilling tour bus we've been seeing all day. Schilling! In Russia! Debbie was thrilled.|
|Another day in Russia, another five-star hotel. At this one, the Grand Hotel, we were treated to a very amusing folkloric show. When the men came out to join the women on a rousing rendition of "Back in the USSR," we laughed and laughed.|
|After lunch, we traveled by hydrofoil to Peterhof. The park-like grounds are covered with dozens of fountains fed by a natural spring and powered only by gravity.|
|The Grand Cascade of fountains is only one of several fountain displays on the grounds.|
|Every room was ornate and beautiful, including the staircases to the second floor.|
|Here's a picture of my living room. No, wait, this is the ballroom at Peterhof.|
This entire room was covered with these portraits. Now, here's the bizarre part -- these hundreds of portraits featured only a handful of different women.
We could have taken dozens of other photos, but we decided to buy a souvenir book instead. Stop by and have a look at it sometime!
|After our wonderful day in St. Petersburg, sunset was at 11:25 PM. We gathered on deck with many of our shipmates as we sailed for Finland with a spectacular sunset ahead of us.|
After midnight, the sky was still stunning.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy