We eagerly passed through customs, and because we had cleared customs the day before, we didn’t have to do that again. We only had to find our tour bus. The same guide was with us both days, and this we were grateful for, but as the morning passed, I realized how much we were being told that wasn’t exactly as we knew it., or at least as we thought we knew it! For instance, and this is where I got a little skeptical….Our tour guide was telling us how mild the winters in Russia were, particularly in that one place where individuals who had been criminalized were imprisoned…..
You guessed it…..Siberia! When we were told that, my radar surfaced, and all of a sudden I was interested in every tidbit of information I could get, even more than before. Siberia, really? They have beautiful, mild winters! Are you kidding me? Not one of us questioned this statement, but we all knew that people were sent to Siberia to suffer, and die. I think the information we received on the museums, and palaces were correct, but this one statement made me realize that not everything we are told by our tour guide, can be believed. I think this may be true anywhere, anyplace.
The summer palace was every bit as opulent as the winter palace, with acres and acres of beautiful parks, and ponds, statues, and gilded gates. Everything was incredible, and interesting beyond belief.
Again we toured the country side, and the city to get where we needed to go. But we were all interested in everything we could learn about what I would consider this mysterious country. I guess I hadn’t stopped to think about what Russia would look like.
This is one of the gowns worn by Catherine the Great. On the sides, inside the gown were small boxes. These boxes were called flea boxes because the fleas from the dress, and the wig would make their way to the sweets hidden inside the boxes. Remember they didn’t clean their clothes, or wigs like we do today. Can you even imagine having fleas? I can’t even stand it when I find a flea on our cat or dog. We don’t have any lousy fleas in our household!
After we toured the summer palace, Les and I sat on a bench, under a shade tree in the garden to rest. As we sat there I noticed lots of cats around the palace. This we were told was to rid the grounds of rodents, OK that I could believe. I watched one cat, who was particularity lazy, & most probably well fed, watch a pigeon. His interest was not of a cat who needed a meal, but one of a cat mildly intrigued with a bird. The pigeon was not one bit worried about this cat, although as you can see, he did keep an eye on him!
Thank you for reading my post about the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg Russia. Next week I will post once more on the end of our second day. This will be the trip from the country through the city, and back to our ship.