The sheer grandeur and history of Russia’s imperial capital never fail to amaze. This is the third European city i am visiting after Birmingham, UK and Munich, Germany. This fails the previous two in terms of sheer grandeur and beauty and the scale. As soon as we crossed the airport and entered the city limits, the beautiful buildings with wide roads became a common sight. I was booked in a hotel in Nevsky Prospekt, which itself is a must visit. This main road starts from the center of the city and is the most happening destination for shopping, food and what not. I had a couple of days in a gap of couple of weeks and hence split the visit into two parts. Being winter, the weather is cold and wet ( a common thing in the region).
After checking in into the hotel, i packed up and started walking the beautiful Nevsky Prospekt. Walking past nice buildings, shops, cathedrals i ended up in the river front The Hermitage. This is the best destination of the city and one of the best museum of the world. The art and painting collection is simply huge and probably Paris is the only contender for this museum.
The ticket price is 700 Roubles and it took me a good 4 hours to walk through the major part of the museum. Never been a fan of museum, but this one is different. The beauiful paintings of Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Van Gogh and the myriad of paintings from the golden age of Europe are a treat for the eyes. Make plans to spend a full day in the museum.
Walking outside, i strolled around for a while and reached the beautiful St. Isaac Cathedral. This one is really impressive. the climb to the top will give a panaromic view of the city. Sadly it started raining and i had to stop my tour and returned to hotel. Later in the evening, i took the subway and reached the centre and then took some time in clicking some night shots. This being winter, staying out is tough and not the right time to visit the city. Believe me, summer will be a terrific time to explore the city and also Russia. A must in our bucket list.
The next opportunity i got, i stayed again in the Nevsky Prospect and explored the beautiful Kazan Cathedral and Church of the Savior on Blood. The second one is particularly amazing with beautiful mosaics both inside and outside.