Catherine The Great's Summer Palace
This side trip was an afterthought as it was included in our trip to the Hermitage but like any great place, could rate a trip of its own. The palace is located in Pushkin, about an hour away from St. Petersburg. Peter the Great presented this estate to his wife, Catherine, in 1710, and on it a small palace was built by architect Braunstein. For the next 200 years, it was used as the summer residence of the royal family. As you can see from the front, it is beautiful.
In 1756, the palace was renovated and expanded in the Baroque style. Its has a truly grand white and gold facade that stretches almost a thousand feet. During World War II, the Palace was severely damage but has been restored.
Like our visit to the Hermitage, being there on a Sunday was very crowded with a ton of people waiting to get inside and most of them tour groups. It really wasn't too bad as you go through the palace through a set path of rooms so it can accomodate a lot of people. But the rooms are magnificent like the grand hall above.
Pat with one of those magnificent Malachite urns.
From there, back to St. Petersburg, past one of the original harbor light towers and on to Finland.
Sunday June 23rd St. Petersburg, Russia

12:00 nn Wind:Northwest- Force 3 Sky: Partly cloudy
Air Temperature: 67 ° F 19 ° C
6:18 pm Departing the Dock
8:00 pm Passing Kronstad Naval base
8:45 pm Entering the Gulf of Finland
Set course to the west for Helsinki

So, from here, now On To Finland and the Arctic Circle.

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