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!