St. Petersburg, Russia
Clockwise from upper left:  The Church of our Savior on the Spilled Blood, the red-painted Rostral Columns  in front of the Naval Museum, symbolized the naval power of the Russian empire, scenes of the marvelous canals in the city and a pedestrian walkway just off of the famous Nevsky Prospekt street.



The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia


Inside the Hermitage Museum ...a truly amazing collection of over three million pieces art, sculpture and artifacts.    The museum consists of buildings that were previously the palaces of czars (part of one building-lower right).


Clockwise from upper left: Memorial lighthouse, Alyosha of Murmansk pyramid representing a flag at half–mast as a sign of mourning for the fallen soldiers, the Alyosha monument of a soldier in his greatcoat with a rifle carried over his shoulder, Sign near the Murmansk museum, a Russian warship and what Murmansk usually looks like.....cold, drab and dreary. Murmansk,



In St. Petersburg, Russia, I was surprised to see the affluence, especially noticeable is the number of expensive automobiles in the city… money is absolutely necessary in St. Petersburg to afford an average quality of life.    For example, lunch in St. Petersburg in a nice restaurant cost us about seventy dollars …we did enjoy both the service and the quality of the food.    Probably the most beautiful building we saw was the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood….in St. Petersburg, Russia…..just one of the places where Russian leaders were assassinated in an ever changing political environment.  

I was particularly impressed with the canals of St. Petersburg, which they referred to as the “Venice of the North”.   We did take a canal boat ride which gave us excellent views of the buildings in the city and the intricacies of their canal system.  The city is quite well maintained to the naked eye and benefits from a large tourist trade.   This was particularly true in the Hermitage Museum, where our visit was restricted by the sheer number of people in the museum.   The collection is extensive and the size of the many buildings that make up the Hermitage definitely requires many full day visits to fully appreciate all the artifacts that are in the museum.