Thursday, May 05, 2016

St Petersburg

I saw that where are a lot of people reading the blog from Russia so I have to write about when I went to St Petersburg. It was a 4 day weekend and I could have used 2 days more, but I can Always come back...For a Swede travelling to Russia you need a visa that you have to pay in my opinion too much for, when applying you have to show papers on payed hotel etc and it was really so much work so I bought a weekend package from a travel agency and that included a guided tour of the city from bus that in my case became a private guide and a cab since my plane was delaided for 2 hours. I stayed at a hotel called Moscow and it was not my kind of hotel, 825 rooms and breakfast was included and that many people in a huge room became like eating in a school canteen....

I like taking subway, trains and busses on vacation and St Petersburg is easy to navigate from the subway and cheap, I think the subway is the deepest subway in the world and you can see on the left picture how long it is to the top. The right picture is from a trainride I took to the Tsar´s summerpalace; Petershof

This picture show how it has been restored

Since I work with trains I had to visit Vitebskiy Railway station that was the first railway station in Russia built in 1837 and restored to it´s original glory....and it was Beautiful, with chandelers and staircases, the formal Tsar´s waitingroom was a cafeteria ( left Picture)

During the guided tour the guide recommended a visit to what my old guidebook refers to as the Summerpalace garden, and the first summerpalace is here and it´s really close to the Winterpalace, the palace, that is on the small side was closed for renovation but the park was lovely to stroll

 Ok and  now to the serious part; fabricshopping, the sewing machinestore was rather close to my hotel and looked like an ordinary dito store in Sweden, I checked the prices for needles and thought they where like home.  When I travel I usually google "fabric shopping in...." and that way I found the fabric store, There where actually several shops in the building, the good fabric was on the second floor.... and it was good!! they had a wool room that I did not get a picture on and I thought the prices where good. All the fabrics hanging in the back have samples on the desks so you can touch them and when you want something you tell the lady at the desk how much, she does not speak English but numbers are international, then you get a note and take it to the cashier and pay for it( they do take cards) take the receipt, bring it back to the first lady and you get you get the good stuff

I don´t remember the name of the shop nor the adress but it´s easy to find, you go to the Finlandish railwaystation, stand on the stairs and look toward Neva, look to the right and on the street outside the railwaystation the store is on the first block to the right. I bought two pieces, payed with card and I don´t remember how much I paid but it was good value.

The food was great, I ate at a lot of different places an high end cafées, canteens, restaurants in back streets and at the hotel. The funniest meal was when I was going to the fabric store and it was not opened so I went around the block and found a café in a basement and ordered cappucino( not a good choise...) and what I thought was a apricot and almond cake that turned out to be filled with mushrooms.... but it tasted great!

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