We had been recommended to see the Yusupov Palace which was located on one of the innercity canals. They were an extremely wealthy family and close friends of the Tsar.  Their palace was very opulent and and included a very ornate private theatre which could hold 200 people.
There were few tourists the day we went which was very pleasant. The Yusupovs bequeathed all of their art and other collections well before the revolution to the state and they had moved to France before the uprising. The Yusupov palace was also well known as being the place that Rasputin was murdered by Prince Yusupov and friends before his body was thrown into the canal.
From there we went on to see the Roerich art exhibition at the Russian museum (another impressive building). He painted in the late 1800’s to the 1940’s and had spent a number of years in India. His paintings of the Himalayas were unique and beautiful.
As in many countries,foreign tourists pay a higher price for entry into most museums which is fine in third world countries but I’m not sure that it applied to a city like St Petersburg.
We had an early dinner and went back to the hotel where I changed and headed off in a taxi to the beautiful Marinsky theatre to see the ballet “Sylvia”. It was a wonderful production with two intervals. I was going to treat myself to a little bottle of champagne but at $25 I thought it was a bit excessive so I bought a bottle of water and looked around the theatre instead.

We made an early start to the Peterhof Palace located on the Gulf of Finland.about an hour (by metro and minibus) from St Petersburg.
Mini buses at several metro station to take people to outlying suburbs.
The day was beautiful and sunny (the best we had had for about two weeks). The palace made the Hermitage and Winter Palace look plain by comparison with extremely ornate glass and gilt decorations in many of the enormous rooms and ballroom.
The scale of the palace, bath house complex and grounds was staggering! There were separate payments for the different buildings – the palace,  chapel,bath house and lower garden and it was about $80 for the day for the two of us but we didn’t visit all of the buildings. The separate sprawling bath house with enormous sauna rooms and bathing areas was amazing and included resting rooms and dining room. The gardens and forrested areas stretched for kilometres and the fountains were beautiful.
Tsar Peter could watch the ships coming and going along the coast from his palace,bath house and the gardens.
We walked a a great distance down to a folly and a restaurant where we had a cup of tea and rested our feet.
There was a photographic exhibition in the garden detailing the work by hundreds of labourers and artisans in the restoration of the palace after WWII. It was quite amazing to see how it had been totally reconstructed over the years.
We did have to wear disposable slippers inside which kept the exquisite flooring in it’s pristine condition.

The tour groups arrived by bus – scores of buses – but there were few individual tourists so we were not herded through each room. It was the largest number of tourists we had seen anywhere with hundreds of groups (many Russian) moving through the palace and gardens.
The little red squirrels were very inquisitive and not shy at all. They darted through the gardens and trees at lightning speed.
We enjoyed a picnic in the gardens like some of the Russian tourists who had brought their own food and drink.

We caught the shuttle bus and metro back to the hotel and collapsed after all the walking we had done.

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