(March 26, 2015) Peterhof
This day we’ll visit Peterhof Palace. For this
the hydrofoils leaving by the Admiralty building, just one street from
At afternoon, back in Saint Petersburg, we could explore Hermitage
Museum if there is enough time and we didn’t the previous day.
The spots marked at map are:
0- Van stop
1- Upper Gardens
2- Lower Gardens
3- Grand Palace
4- Grand Cascade
This is low season, nothing sails the frozen water here,
and this includes hydrofoils. Fountains at Peterhof will be off but
this, at least, I already knew. My wife choose to keep resting at room
as tomorrow she’ll come to Catherine Palace, which is the best visit of
the two in winter.
I follow the indications to reach Peterhof by land easily:
Take metro to Avtovo station and once outside I can see the vans across
the street. I have a walk, though, until the crossing point. There is a
long line of vans and I must go to the first one where I take the last
available seat. After a while on road I can change to the first seat,
just after the driver and I just say “Fountains”, he shakes and points
with the fingers in a clear sign for “later on”. With this I’ve manage
he tells me when it is and it’s not obvious. The reference can be the
beautiful cathedral in Peterhof town, just across the road of the
entrance to the complex. The total time of this trip from hotel has
been a bit over one hour.
I walk through the Upper Gardens and I can see the palace
in front of me. There is no green around and I find out the sculptures
are covered by wooden boxes, I guess to protect them from the hard
winter here. At the other side of the palace, once at Lower Gardens, I
find the Grand Cascade, which is the only place where I can see
statues. The golden bronze must be enough protection for them.
The wide canal connecting this spectacular fountain with
Baltic Sea in at the center of the palace and now is full of mounts of
snow here and there.
I can read at palace’s door it opens at 10:30 AM, so two
minutes ago. There is a group of scholars and some couples of tourist
waiting but I still manage to be the first in the line when realizing
the right place. It opens 15 minutes late and, once inside, I can leave
the coat and explore the halls freely. Photos are not allowed and there
is an old woman seated in every room, even in the smaller ones, to
control this is accomplished.
After this I continue exploring the rest of the outside.
In winter we only must pay by the visit inside the palace and I’ve used
the Petersburg card for it. The rate was 550 rub, though.
When I live the complex and reach the van stop across the
road I go to the cathedral to visit it as vans are stopping very often
here. I get into a van, similar to the one I used to come, but I pay 55
rub, 5 less than before.
I arrive to the hotel at lunch time and with the entire
afternoon to spend in Hermitage museum. We lunch in the hotel’s buffet
as it is only 650 rub, although the explanation is it is quite poor.
Then we leave for the Palace Square nearby.
We join the line in Hermitage’s entrance but it is not
going forward. Speakers say museum is full and accesses are being
controlled. It is not looking good as we can see big groups of children
constantly being allowed in as our line is not moving at all.
We get in after 45 minutes waiting in the cold outside. Then I purchase
two tickets by 500 rub each and we start our visit once we’ve left our
coats in the keeper.
First we explore the first floor entirely, where we find mainly palace halls and items and paintings.
Then we go downstairs to enjoy the archaeological part.
Finally, we go to the second floor for the modern art,
where we can find two halls allotted to Picasso. We had around two
hours and a half for this visit and we’ve spend them almost entirely.
We only will leave the hotel once at night for get some diner in a neat and crowded place.