Lockdown Armchair Travel – Russia – St Petersburg and Korsakov, 2002-03 & 2014

As the prospect of travel and holidays seem to be getting further away by the day, it’s time for another Lockdown Armchair Travel post, and R is for Russia. We’ve been to Russia three times, each just for a very short time on a cruise. In both 2002 and 2003 we visited St Petersburg for two full days each time, and in 2014 we visited Korsakov, a little town at the southern end of Sakhalin, so they’re about as far west and far east as you can get in Russia. I normally ask at this stage, what do you think of, when you think of Russia? But the answer to that probably isn’t found in either St Petersburg or Korsakov! When I think of Russia, I think of this place:

The incredible waterfall gardens at the back of the Peterhof Palace. If you look in the other direction, the view is

And you can see all the way down to the Gulf of Finland

Inside is pretty lavish too

Very understated, in fact

The Peterhof is Peter the Great’s palace, and if you visit St Isaac’s cathedral, you can see his tomb

It’s an attractive cathedral, with a beautiful golden dome that you can see in the back of this picture

but the most stunning church in the city is the Church of the Saviour on Blood

St Petersburg is famous for its wide boulevards

You could be in Paris

with the River Neva never far away from any snapshot

And even more beautiful at night

Here’s the Smolny Cathdral (not the best of pictures, sorry about that)

And here’s the Peter and Paul Cathedral, outside the city near the Peterhof

However you could go to St Petersburg for two weeks and still not set foot outside the Hermitage Museum.

The museum is a stunning building in its own right, and that’s before you’ve started looking at the exhibits.

Here’s Catherine the Great’s coach

and a modest candelabra

and a golden wall

It’s always full of people, of course

So let’s wave a fond farewell to St Petersburg

and check out life in Korsakov!

As you can see, it’s a sleepy little place

where not much happens. People go shopping

Kids feed the birds

People go to the bank

The advertising hoardings are bright and jolly

and there’s always someone to look out for you

including the local council

It’s the kind of place where you’re expected to watch the folklore show, where the locals are the stars

You get your photo taken with them at the end of the show. This big guy was my favourite

But I avoided the chap with the unsubtle charisma implant

I’m assuming this is a monument to those in peril on the sea – fishing must be a very important local industry

And I think this translates as Town Hall

It’s actually a very green and pleasant place – but I think I’d find it a bit quiet, personally. Mind you, I bet he gets a bit raucous after a few vodkas.

Thanks for accompanying me on this little trip to both extremes of Russia! Stay safe!


3 thoughts on “Lockdown Armchair Travel – Russia – St Petersburg and Korsakov, 2002-03 & 2014

Leave a Reply