Monday, November 17, 2014

Baltic Cruise: St. Petersburg, Part 13 (Russian Selfies)

*fake Russian accent*  Come visit the lovely St. Petersburg for your best vacation ever!

Your heart will sing with joy as you view our lovely monuments!

You'll smile so hard your face will hurt!

Experience the wonder of the St. Petersburg public transportation system!

Enjoy our lovely weather, warm and sunny all the time!

You'll never have a vacation that's more fun than this!

Would these smiling faces lie?  St. Petersburg.  Happiest place on Earth...after Disneyland.

Thanks to my friend Jen who gave me the idea to do "Russian selfies".  Hee!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Baltic Cruise: St. Petersburg, Part 12 (Peter and Paul Fortress)

Well my friends, we are nearly at the end of the St. Petersburg pictures, and today we're visiting the Peter and Paul Fortress.  Here is the cathedral:

That is the highest Russian Orthodox bell tower in the world.  I'm sad that the Wikipedia picture has beautiful blue skies and all I got was clouds.

There's my hubs messing around with the headset to listen to our tour guide.  And that's me taking pictures that are intentionally crooked since my pictures come out crooked whether I mean to make them that way or not.  Now our photo editing software has a thing where you can correct for crooked though, so that's cool.

That is the mint, where they make all the Russian money.  We didn't get to go in there.  We DID go in the cathedral.

Hey, it's like mood lighting!  I'm going to pretend that's all my photographic jeeenyus.

Actually those two pictures are even better with the lighting.  As per usual, pretty much every square inch of the cathedral was decorated in some way.

The cathedral is the final resting place of most of the emperors and empresses of Imperial Russia, including Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, and lots of others who didn't get "the Great" added on to their names.

This is the separate room (the St. Catherine Chapel) where the remains of the last Imperial family are buried:  Nicholas II, his wife, and five children.  Contrary to popular myth, Anastasia did not survive the massacre at Ekaterinburg.  Robert K. Massie's book about the last days of the family and what happened afterward is pretty fascinating; definitely worth a read if you're interested in Russian history.

There are the tombstones for Maria and Anastasia, the two younger daughters.  They were laid to rest in this cathedral in 1998, though their remains were discovered well before the fall of Communism in Russia.

Proof that we were there!

And there is our tour guide; this is the only picture I took of him.  He was nowhere near as awesome as our tour guide in Tallinn; I found him rather chauvinist (Lee says "He's Russian, of course he's chauvinist!") and somewhat lacking in historical knowledge.  But at least we got to see a lot of things in St. Petersburg : D