12.06.2011 - 12.06.2011 28 °C
Considering the time I got to bed I was back up at 9am to go see more sites of St Pb. We decided to spend the day going out to the Peterhof. Peterhof is the original summer palace of the Romanovs and has the most spectacular water fountains I have ever seen.
Today is Russia Day so not only is it a Sunday today but it is also a public holiday today so we knew that it was probably going to be crowded. We decided to go today because the palace is closed on Mon's and a cold change is due through which will mean the weather is likely to turn ordinary.
So first thing was first we had to line up to get tickets to get to Peterhof. (Peterhof is about half an hour away on a hydrofoil.. you need to cross part of the Gulf of Finland to actually get to the palace). The line up was something incredible and didn't seem to be moving. I was in charge of today's site seeing (we were taking it in turns to work out how to get there, how much etc) so I went hunting the ticket box itself. As it turned out everyone was sheep lined up on the wrong line so I went right to the front of the queue and after probably 20mins or so got our tickets for the boat. By 12.30 we were snug in the boat and off to the Peterhof.
The palace is absolutely incredible. It has been described as the Versailles of Russia and I can understand why! On arrival, you walk down this water and tree lined colonnade right up to the palace itself! At the front of the palace is this incredibly large Neptune fountain that is flanked by cascading fountains.. Absolutely incredible! We made our way up to the palace (so that we could see the museum inside) and discovered another incredibly long line up.. We decided to forgo the palace and just stick to the grounds (which are huge). It was the nicest way to spend the afternoon strolling around the park admiring the many, many fountains and beautifully manicured gardens. Just bliss (esp after being inside all day yesterday).
We've noticed a really funny phenomenon here in Russia and we have dubbed it the "Russian Pose"... Anytime Russian people pose for a photo they put on an imitation model pose (no smile, body turned slightly to the side, bum sticking out, leg forward, eyes looking down the lense-- you get the picture) which is hilarious! Every photo that a Russian person takes involves a person in the foreground... Really funny.. I mean nearly all of my photos (and everyone else on my tour) involves taking a really beautiful photo of a building, plant etc not every photo needs to have a human pose!!!! I'll keep my eyes open during the rest of my trip and see how many other poses I can find... We all know of the Japanese pose-- 1 hand up showing the peace sign... The Hawaiin pose-- 1 hand up in the "shaka" mode... The Chinese pose-- two hands showing the peace sign and head tilted to the side... Lets see how many more I can discover during this journey!
Today is technically the last day of our tour so many of my tour mates have left during today making it a little sad! Tracey left after lunch and Karina is leaving v early in the morning! A fairly early night tonight and another day tomorrow spent touring museums!