Last day in St Petersburg, I had hoped to be away this morning but there is only one train to Novgorod.I don't think that is right but that is what the ticket office says. This might mean an extra day there, but that might be a relax day.
Yesterday I went to the Peterhof which the Russians call the Versaille of the north. The gardens are beautiful and the water cascades are amazing.The tour I took also goes in the main palace who's decoration is stunning if very much over the top.
The 2 things that particularly impressed were Peter the Greats own palace( mon plaisire ) for its modesty and the fact that the whole garden ,cascades and main palace has had to be totaly reconstructed after the war. The Germans devasted all that they held either for loot or as a scorched earth as they retreated.However there is a story,not from russians , that Stalin had the main Palace bombed because Hitler had bragged he was going to have a new year diner there.
The Germans came within 10 Km of St Petersberg and besieged it for 900 days.During that time 1,000,000 St Peterbergers ,soldiers and civilians died. To put that into context, if I need to ,Britain and U S lost 700,000 combined. With 27,000,000 dead no wonder the Russians call it the Great Patriotic war.
The only down side here is that as time goes on my Russian is getting worse I hear words on the street recognise them but do not know what they mean.That is why I am thinking of a day off in Novgorod.
Hope my readers are all well.