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Blogs from: St. Petersburg
Photo of the Day – Candy Land Castle – Church of Spilt Blood, St. Petersburg, RussiaEvery time I look at this picture I immediately think of Candy Land! You know, the kids game with all of the different types of candy as the “players”. I played this game a lot and to me the Church of Spilled Blood makes me think of a giant real-life castle made out of candy.
The intricate painting of the domes and walls lend itself to M&M’s, Laffy Taffy, Hershey Kisses, Candy Canes and an assortment of other candy that makes my mouth water right now! Or perhaps I have lost it
What do you see?
Photo of the Day – Scandinavian Golden Hour – St. Petersburg, RussiaThe best photos are always taken during the golden hours – the hour before and the hour after sunrise and the hour before and after sunset. One special thing about visiting very northern parts of the world during the middle of summer is the days are very stretched out. If you go to the right place at the right time you can even experience days where it never gets dark!
These long days in effect stretch out sunrise and sunset, which means the windows of the day for great photography are greatly extended. This allowed Will and I to walk around St. Petersburg one day last June for several hours photographing the beautiful sunset light. We were able to grab this photo of the English Embarkment sitting on the Neva River, just out front of the famous Hermitage Museum.
Photo of the Day – Blinded by the Light – Hermitage Museum – St. Petersburg, RussiaI’m not a big museum guy. There, I said it. The majority of the museums I have visited around the world have failed to really excite me. Too often museums are all about finding a few very famous pieces, that frankly if the museum brochure didn’t highlight the fact that the pieces were famous, you would find nothing extraordinary about them vs. the twenty other beautiful paintings in the room. I know this all sounds very unsophisticated, but I bet this is how nine out of ten people actually feel.
The Hermitage is different. It is more of a palace than an actual museum – although that comment is really unfair because it contains a great deal of absolutely stunning artwork. A visit to the Hermitage consists of walking around a massive palace for hours making your way from room to room in total amazement of what surrounds you. This photo is an example of one of the very “normal” rooms that we walked through on our visit earlier this year.
Photo of the Day – Domed Ceiling of The Hermitage Museum – Saint Petersburg, RussiaWhere do I begin?
First of all, realize this is a ceiling.
Secondly, understand that the ceiling was designed and painted in the 18th Century.
Lastly, this ceiling is located in The Hermitage Museum which was the Summer Palace for Russia’s Royalty.
I am not sure if that is helping to give you a better understanding of this photo, but just look at it, enjoy it, and get lost in it!
Photo of the Day – Pickled Foods Galore – Kuznechny Market – St Petersburg, RussiaOut of a necessity to store food during the cold Russian winters, Russians pickle a wide variety of foods to greatly increase their shelf life. On a visit to Russia you will find something pickled on the table at every traditional Russian restaurant, especially if you put in an order for vodka!
I posted a photo a few weeks back of some delicious food we picked up at the central market in St Petersburg. On the plate there were lots of pickled items which were all purchased from this nice (although not so friendly looking here) lady in the market.
Photo of the Day – Flowerful St. Isaacs – Saint Petersburg, RussiaAfter a long day of touring around Saint Petersburg, we rounded out our city tour by walking towards St. Isaac’s Cathedral from the river. Leading up to St. Isaac’s are roughly a dozen flower beds that were at the time filled with tulips. The area in general is quite lush with large tree’s and rich green grass. The flowers were a nice touch as they offered a punch of color right in the middle of the city.
Photo of the Day – Russian Market Snack – St. Petersburg, RussiaThere is one tourist activity that rarely will let you down and that is a visit to the local market. With our last few precious hours in Russia, Will and I ventured off on a mission to explore a local market in Saint Petersburg. Our goal was not only to score a few great photos of the action but to also arrive back to our hotel with lots of pickled treats and of course a few shots of Russian Vodka to celebrate the end of a highly successful tour of Moscow and Saint Petersburg.
Our journey landed us at the Kuznechny market in Saint Petersburg. The market wasn’t as exciting as others we have seen in third world countries around the world but it definitely had the local Russian fare that we were searching for. We were able to pick up two types of pickles, pepper stuffed olives, pickled smoked garlic, stuffed cheese peppers, pickled tomatoes and a huge hunk of white cheese. On the way home we grabbed a long baguette and a small bottle of vodka to pair with all of our pickled goods. The food was delicious and really connected all of the wonderful meals that we had eaten over the previous few days in Russia.
We just arrived in Dubai a few hours ago and as I write this Will is breathing down my neck because the sun is just starting to come up and we need to be in a cab on our way to the beach out front of the Burj al Arab to start taking pictures. Hopefully we are able to come back with a great photo to post later today. Thanks for following!
Photo of the Day – Hermitage Profile over the Bolshaya Neva – St. Petersburg, RussiaToday marked our second day in St. Petersburg and it was time to conquer The Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage Museum is ranked #77 on our list of the Top 100 Places in the World and is often regarded as the second best museum in the world only to The Louvre.
We ventured off to The Hermitage and got to the ticket line 20 minutes early. After a few minor hurdles, gearing up, and checking our bags, we were off to our 3rd AbsoluteVisit in Russia! Our expectations for the museum were moderate. We knew this would be a special museum – it is an AbsoluteVisit after-all But, we didn’t have the highest expectations.
From the very first incredible, large and stately entrance staircase to the final Egyptian Sarcophagus we were absolutely (pun intended) in shock! The Hermitage Museum left us in a daze due to its overwhelming number of palace state rooms each holding art, furniture, and relics from around the world. What makes The Hermitage special is its combination of maintaining its palace state rooms with its fine arts collection. Also, the outside is class elegance in nature and certainly stands out among the best museums in the world. Today’s photo shows you the outside beauty of The Hermitage which stretched from the far-right of the photo to the second green building from the right!
Back to the interior, Brad and I were literally scratching our heads at the number, size, and elegance of the dozens of state rooms through The Hermitage. It is rare that I am overwhelmed due to a site’s quantity of awesome-ness, but the Hermitage achieved this easily.
Does anyone else see The Hermitage moving up the list … ? (hint hint) Also, we will be putting together some of our favorite photos within The Hermitage soon so stay tuned!
Photo of the Day – Spilled Blood Canal – Saint Petersburg, RussiaAfter a very short, but very jam packed and exciting visit to Moscow, we arrived in Saint Petersburg, Russia on Monday morning. Since we were both working off of 16 total hours of sleep over the past 5 days, we made the executive decision that we were going to make Monday a slower day and try to recharge.
Our “slow” day turned into seven hours on our feet walking around the city. We spent a lot of time walking down the most famous (and never ending) street in Saint Petersburg – Nevsky Prospect. Walking down this street we crossed over several of the canals that cut through the center of the city. As we crossed our first canal we immediately saw the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood off in the distance. The beautiful church looks very similar to St. Basil’s Cathedral which we just saw in Moscow.
We’re off to get a closer look at the Church this morning and I can’t wait!