Tag Archives: Saint-Petersburg

Cities of Eastern Europe – Saint Petersburg

Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg

The next morning we slept in but luckily there was a late start so after a rushed buffet breakfast we were back in hotel reception and gathering with the group ready for the introductory guided tour of Saint-Petersburg.

The coach arrived and after we had all selected our preferred seats the driver edged the bus into the long queue of late rush hour traffic. Actually, as it turned out it was always rush hour in Saint-Petersburg and despite the generously wide streets the roads were continuously congested.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth – The Metro in St Petersburg

St Petersburg Metro

Because it needs to run below huge rivers, the Saint-Petersburg Metro is the deepest in the World and the Primorskaya platform is seventy-one metres below ground with an escalator ride of one hundred and ten metres which takes several minutes to get to the bottom (the deepest station on the London Underground by-the-way is Angel on the Northern Line at sixty metres and on the New York Subway it is 191st Street on the Seventh Avenue Line at a mere fifty-five metres).

You always have to be careful about these biggest, highest, widest sort of statistics of course because there is always an inevitable challenge.  Saint-Petersburg bases its claim on an average depth of the entire network.  The unfortunately named Arsenalna is a station on the metro in Kiev in the Ukraine and at 105.5 metres is currently the deepest station in the world.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

St Petersburg Metro Escalator

Escalator on the St Petersburg Metro

Because it needs to run below huge rivers, the Saint-Petersburg Metro is the deepest in the World and the Primorskaya platform is seventy-one metres below ground with an escalator ride of one hundred and ten metres which takes several minutes to get to the bottom (the deepest station on the London Underground by-the-way is Angel on the Northern Line at sixty metres and on the New York Subway it is 191st Street on the Seventh Avenue Line at a mere fifty-five metres).

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Saint Petersburg Midnight Train to Moscow

Grand Express, Saint Petersburg to Moscow

The train was the Grand Express, a privately operated overnight service and advertised as ‘a luxury hotel on wheels’ and goes on in more detail, ‘You will be impressed by the level of service on Grand Express. It is Russia’s first privately owned luxury passenger train, offering overnight trips from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg. Only ‘Grand Express’ can offer you spacious sleeping carriages with toilets, shower cabins and air-conditioning, with wide sofas and LCD-TV sets, with DVD-players and Wi-Fi Internet access.’

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Grand Palace Peterhof

The Grand Palace at Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia

Sometime during the late seventeenth century Peter the Great visited western Europe and whilst in France he was so impressed with Louis XIV’s Palace that he returned to Russia with plans to build one for himself and at this site thirty kilometres from Saint-Petersburg he began the construction of what was to become known as the ‘Russian Versailles’.

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Russia, Final Day, Reflection and Assessment

St. Nicholas’ Cathedral Saint Petersburg

I was woken in the morning by the sound of squealing brakes and the unmistakable sound of metal on metal which means two vehicles have had a collision.

I leapt out of bed and from the eighth floor window I could see two cars joined at the bumper and blocking the busy intersection outside the hotel front door.  There was chaos all around and this was going to last some time because after an accident in Russia the drivers are not permitted to move their vehicles until after the police have attended the scene.

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Russia, Midnight Train to Moscow

Saint Petersburg Midnight Train to Moscow

Transport eventually arrived at ten o’clock but fitting all of the luggage into the small coach proved more difficult than cracking the Rubik’s Cube Puzzle.

For Kim and I, who only ever travel with cabin baggage, the size and quantity of our fellow travellers bags and suitcases was simply jaw-dropping, we were only away for a week but there was more luggage here than would be needed for a six month polar expedition; I doubt David Livingstone took as much as this when he went searching for the source of the Nile; more bags even than you would expect to find in the average suitcase department of a High street department store.

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Russia, Saint-Petersburg Best Bridges Walk

The Eygptian Sphinx Saint Petersburg

We left the Hermitage by the front door and at two o’clock it was hot on the banks of the River Neva so as we had been on our feet for nearly four hours we found a kiosk in a park next to the Museum and drank some reasonably priced local beer called Baltika (Second largest brewery in Europe after Heineken) and planned our afternoon.

Now it was time to resurrect Kim’s plan to see the best of the City bridges but an examination of the map confirmed that this a was rather ambitious project so we decided to set off and just see how far we could get in a short afternoon.

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Russia, Saint-Petersburg and the Hermitage Museum

Hermitage Museum Saint Petersburg

This was our final day in Saint-Petersburg and we were planning to set our own itinerary and despite the alarmist stories of ten kilometre long queues at the Hermitage this was where we were going to start first.

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Russia, Saint-Petersburg Canal Boat Ride and a Crisis!

Saint Petersburg Canal Boat Tour

The boat was just about to cast off and leave so we quickly paid for our tickets and joined about twenty fellow passengers on the open deck at the rear. Some of them were wrapped in complimentary blankets and Kim asked for a couple but I thought this was rather unnecessary as it was pleasantly warm sitting in the golden glow of the sunshine in the shelter of the adjacent buildings.

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