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Posts Tagged ‘St. Petersburg’

 

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Without a long time to spend in St. Petersburg we had to ensure we’d pack in as much as possible into a handful of very brief days. Fortunately, just a few steps from our apartment we found this simple structure inviting our gaze and adoration.

And gaze we did! This Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood (one must imagine it doesn’t translate well) was the perfect antidote to grouchy airport personnel (oh, that cello! The girl should take up harmonica!) and a stifling apartment.

Inside are hundreds of gold-leafed icons of saints and other important men (!), a marble mosaic floor, and frescoes on the domed ceiling. Stunning.

 

 

 

 

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The next morning the city welcomed us with a noisy blast of horn and drum, right outside our window.

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Such rigidity and solemnity. So formal and professional.

 

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Or maybe not.

These blue-striped specimens of manliness, many toting cans of beer, formed a long mass of humanity that went on and on in the parade.

 

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Mothers, children, wives and girlfriends walked along with the men who sang and shouted out to the crowds lining the streets.

(See the little girl’s feet?)

 

 

 

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We gathered from the flags and then later from a newspaper that there was some kind of recognition of the country’s paratroopers.

So we couldn’t determine if these fellows had themselves served in the army or if they were commemorating others who did.

 

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Watching out for rabble rousers at the rear, I guess.

 

 

 

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And for a complete change of pace, we attended Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro later that night at the magnificent Mariinsky Theatre, built in 1860.

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Outside in the mezzanine and in the hallways were photos of Rudolf Nureyev and Anna Pavlova, whose careers were launched here.

 

 

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And a peaceful walk home, with a stop for ice cream, as we contemplate the many facets of our good fortune.

As for the name of this place, I have no idea. But to be fair, there’s a gold topped dome every couple of kilometres.

Some serious navigation is about to start.

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