For Thursday Door pictures, just page through all of the palace photos to see many wonderful doors in Catherine’s Palace.
What happened to Cruise Days 5 and 6 ?
Returning to Cruise Day 4, you might remember that we were deluged by a major storm that soaked those passengers coming back by train from Berlin. In fact, the wind was so strong that the ship was not allowed to leave the port until the next morning. That meant that we missed the port stop of Tallinn, Estonia. It was a two day sail to Estonia from Wismar, Germany, and we therefore passed Tallinn about 7:00 PM on the day after we left. That meant we were back on schedule at the cost of one port stop. It also meant two full days at sea (Days 5 and 6).
On Day 7, we woke up to a beautiful sunny morning at the Cruise Port for St. Petersburg. Here are a few pictures from our verandah deck:
The following picture is of Lakhta Center, which is going to be a 462 meter tall skyscraper with an amphitheater at the bottom left. You can follow the link for more information on Wikipedia.
The next picture is of Krestovsky Stadium, one of the venues in Russia that will handle the 2018 FIFA World Cup. This stadium has been calculated to be 518% behind schedule and 548% over budget.
I think this is a new power station built to support the needs of the new Lakhta Center.
From the ship, we boarded a coach for the half hour ride to the Catherine Palace, also know as the Summer Palace. The featured image was taken in the front courtyard, looking down the 325 meter long front of the palace.
Here are a few more pictures from that front courtyard.
Here is the front gate into the courtyard:
Once inside, we were lead to the grand ballroom, or ‘Grand Hall’ or ‘Hall of Lights’. The room takes the whole width of the building, so you will see doors and windows on both sides surrounded by gold overlay wood carvings.
The ceiling has a wonderful fresco titled the ‘Triumph of Russia’:
The ballroom floor has a marvelous design that we were told was used to indicate the starting point for each dancer for some of the ballroom dances.
I managed to capture a picture of myself in one of the beautiful mirrors positioned between each set of doors:
From the ballroom, we were led down a series of formal rooms known as the Golden Enfilade. The first room is the Courtiers-in-Attendance Dining Room :
In the corner of each of these rooms is a tall ceramic stove used to keep the room warm during the cold winters:
Here is a closeup of the designs on the ceramic:
Each room along the Golden Enfilade had its own theme and purpose. Here are some photos of interest along the way:
The next three photos are of almost priceless vases enclosed in protective boxes.
Notice the photographer in the mirror in the rear.
Another ceiling fresco.
Another beautiful floor design.
Now we have moved to the residence next to the palace. Notice the design change and the lack of gold.
I am sorry if this is overwhelming. The displays were quite overwhelming just walking from one room to the next. There was also a room covered in amber. We were not allowed to take pictures in this room.
From here we went out to the gardens behind the palace. I think I will save that for my next post.