Tuesday, May 16—Viking Homeland Cruise, Day 11, St. Petersburg, Russia

Make no mistake, St. Petersburg, Russia, is opulent, but solidly a Russian city with massive covert security and seemingly secretiveness.

Spectacular palace(s), St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia
Made lavish by Tsar Peter the Great some 300 years ago, St. Petersburg is one of Europe’s most important cultural centers.  It abounds in grand boulevards, a network of canals, elegant baroque and classical buildings, seemingly innumerable palaces, and the picturesque onion-domed churches and cathedrals such as the extraordinary Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood.  The onion-domed decorative memorial is dedicated to the assassinated emperor Alexander II, the last of the Czars of Russia.

Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia

The city is a blend of old and new Russia.  Before the revolution there were over 600 aristocratic families with residences in this city and many of them have either been restored or repurposed.  Beside them are modern buildings housing colleges, government offices, museums, etc.  And yet, there seemed to be a coldness, aloofness, or reluctance to interact with the inhabitants.  Like any big city, traffic congestion and road construction were part of the every day life.

Waterfront Memorial, St. Petersburg, Russia

Costumed street “entertainer”, St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia, as seen across from the Church

Despite not feeling well, I made the included tour bus tour today, but returned to bed.  Weather was partly cloudy and 50°.

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