St. Petersburg Photo Gallery
St. Petersburg marks the first stop of my Russia trip. The timing could not be more perfect - almost at the summer equinox, with the longest days of the year.
The Moscow Gate was originally built in 1838 to celebrate war victory over Turkey. This is a reconstruction though, completed in 1961.
Moskovskiy is a major north-south thoroughfare with grand buildings lining both sides of this section. The architecture does not look Russian at all though.
This memorial to Peter the Great was ordered by Catherine the Great and was inaugurated in 1782. St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great in 1703.
Peter the Great wanted to Westernize Russia and the architecture shows just that.
The Hermitage is a treasure trove of art and many tour groups had set their sights to get in. Peak season for the cruise industry has arrived.
This exquisite golden sculpture is actually a clock.
Venice still looks just like this today. The painting actually has a 3-D effect and looks a little different from various angles. I had a hard time spotting the differences though!
It is well past 9pm. Thanks to its northerly location, sunset arrives at almost midnight.
The city experiences weird bouts of occasional torrential downpours followed by brilliant sunshine.
Judging from all these cars parked along the street, the locals also want to enjoy the "white nights".
The subway stations are not particularly stunning but being buried so deep underground, they are an engineering feat .
The Catherine Palace was enlarged from its humble beginnings over the years but suffered massive damage during World War II. Restoration is not yet complete but visitors can see what has been fixed. Bring sunglasses - the gold glitters sharply inside.
The gardens are huge while the blue exterior blends in well with the summer sun.
I wasn't too interested in buying souvenirs that I will never see or touch again upon returning home. A photograph of the memory would suffice.
Russia is famous for caviar, but salmon eggs are middle-class food and nowhere close to the precious Caspian Sea sturgeon eggs.
Peterhof's gardens incorporate an extensive use of water.
St. Petersburg is a city of canals, like Amsterdam. So let's hit the water!
As a typical daily downpour ensued outside, I sought refuge in the Peter & Paul Church, which sits inside the citadel across from the Hermitage. Built in 1723, it is the city's first stone church and burial place of all Russian czars since Peter the Great.
This pair of stone lions were gifted from imperial China, seemingly out of place in this distant European city.
Even though St. Petersburg was built to mimick Europe, there is still a traditional Orthodox church in town.
Inside, the walls and pillars are painted from head to toe.
St. Petersburg has a number of tram lines with a varied stock of vehicles, such as these ancient relics.