We’re booked on a 2-day excursion, “Fall of the Romanovs”. Today we visited Peterhof Palace and The Hermitage. It’s been a long and tiring day, and we have to do it all over again tomorrow! Even worse, we start earlier tomorrow – while it was 07:50 this morning, it will be 07:15 tomorrow.
But let’s be positive. Most of today was good, and this morning was exceptionally so. We both enjoyed walking round the Peterhof Palace, and the grounds outside. We did the Palace first, and had finished that and were in the grounds for the 11am switch-on of the fountains. However, so were several thousand other people so it did get quite busy for a while. After that we walked round the grounds for a while, taking in Mon Plaisir and the area down by the shore.
Then we had a very good lunch – salad, borscht, a breaded chicken dish, and dessert. This was washed down with a glass of Russian ‘champagne’, which was very palatable – I think I’ve read that Russian sparkling wine is pretty good and is made using the méthode Champenoise. Anyway, I enjoyed it.
After lunch we drove into the city to the Hermitage. We were a bit tired before lunch but had perked up with the rest and the coach ride, and this lasted while we walked round the rooms. But I’m afraid we found the last hour of the tour very hard going, as we looked at the collection of Renaissance Italian art. There was also a small collection of Rembrandts that didn’t get much of a response, although I have to say that I personally enjoy Dutch golden age art very much indeed. One of the Rembrandt works, ‘The Scholar’, may be the best thing I’ve seen for quite some while. But we were very tired when we finished. Thirsty, too, Val especially – the rules of these places meant that we weren’t able to take water into them, and she was feeling particularly dehydrated as a result. She’s been brewing a headache for a while, and has been grappling with an important question as a result – paracetamol or co-codamol? I think she’s gone for more paracetamol for now.
Now we’re thinking about dinner. Given that we have to make a very early start I don’t think we want to wait until 8:45 for dinner, so I think we’ll be hitting the buffet tonight.