July 28, 2007 – St. Petersburg Erupts with Culture, Beauty and History

The Rolling Stones rock out at the Hermitage

On the morning of the 29th, six of us, Patrick, Alex, Wes, Lida, John and I met Lina at the hotel and we walked  a short distance down Nevsky Prospect to the metro station where Lina helped us get checked in to the official underground subway which is surprisingly deep beneath the streets of St. Petersburg. We stopped at the Church of the Spilled Blood. We stopped at Kazan’s Cathedral and of course we went to St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

Wes, Lida & John enjoy a Swan Lake ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre

Later in the afternoon, several of us went to Peter and Paul fortress where we visited the cruiser Aurora where the shot that was heard around the world was fired in October 1917, signaling the beginning of the Russian Revolution. In the mid afternoon, Wes, Lida, John and I went back to the Hotel, cleaned up and took a taxi over to Mariinsky Hill to see a performance of Swan Lake. So, yes, we have seen in 24 hours the Rolling Stones play at Palace Square and a beautiful ballet performance at the Mariinsky Theatre. Talk about culture!

The historical Church of the Spilled Blood

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Above: Comet Hale-Bopp over Mt. Elbrus from Pik Terskol, Caucasus, April '97. ©"Observers", AlltheSky.com