2012-11-16 at 08-00-13

Friday was our last day in St Petersburg. Our flights were in the late afternoon so we had until about 3pm to explore a bit more of the city before we were transferred from our hotel. Neil, Michelle and Nicky decided to go to the Museum of the Political History of Russia. I was keen to visit the State Russian Museum – an extensive museum of Russian art, so we went our separate ways that morning and agreed to reconvene for lunch.

2012-11-16 at 07-58-49I began by heading down Bolshaya Morskaya.

2012-11-16 at 07-58-01I think this is a post box.

2012-11-16 at 07-59-13Mariinsky Palace.

2012-11-16 at 08-06-46The House of Faberge opened here in 1842.

2012-11-16 at 08-07-31It was heavily guarded so I thought I probably wouldn’t be welcome inside snapping pictures with my camera.

2012-11-16 at 08-08-07Faberge in Russian.

2012-11-16 at 08-02-15Interesting signage.

2012-11-16 at 08-10-42I wonder what that could be?

2012-11-16 at 08-12-03So there!

2012-11-16 at 08-17-38I then reached Nevsky Prospeckt.

2012-11-16 at 08-14-27Stroganov Palace.

2012-11-16 at 08-24-18Walking down Nevsky Prospeckt.

2012-11-16 at 08-29-27Russian military ladies.

2012-11-16 at 08-18-22Cafe?

2012-11-16 at 08-22-07Thirsty?

2012-11-16 at 08-23-16I turned left here at the canal…

2012-11-16 at 08-22-51Headed in the direction of the Church on Spilled Blood and then took a right.

2012-11-16 at 08-30-55Then I reached the square outside the State Russian Museum.

2012-11-16 at 08-43-17The museum is housed in Mikhailovsky Palace, which was completed in 1825.

2012-11-16 at 08-55-48It is the largest repository for Russian art in St Petersburg. It has everything from early Christian icons…

2012-11-16 at 09-21-14..to Suprematist modern art by artists such as Malevich.

2012-11-16 at 09-07-00Folk art and architecture.

2012-11-16 at 09-07-55Traditional costumes.

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Paintings.2012-11-16 at 08-49-24

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2012-11-16 at 09-17-25Early twentieth century art.

2012-11-16 at 09-30-40Stalinist art which aimed to glorify the worker.

2012-11-16 at 09-29-21Paintings celebrating the richness of the Russian landscape and the coming of industrialisation.

2012-11-16 at 09-26-33War.

2012-11-16 at 09-31-41Queues in pre-Glasnost Soviet times.

2012-11-16 at 09-20-15More Malevich.

I was really looking forward to seeing the extensive Kandinsky collection but unfortunately those galleries were closed. Nevertheless I had quite had my fill or art for the morning.

2012-11-16 at 08-19-57I then visited the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan but you weren’t allowed to take photos inside. It was large, dark and quite austere inside.

2012-11-16 at 08-21-23I then met up with Nicky, Michelle and Neil at this wonderful Art Nouveau building which was once the headquarters of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

2012-11-16 at 11-14-42

It is now a bookshop with a rather lovely cafe upstairs (Cafe Singer) where we had lunch and then I partook of this nice apple pie.

We wandered back to our hotel after lunch and finished packing our suitcases. At 3pm we met our driver Dimitriy and he took us to the airport. I was on a flight back to London, whereas the others were heading to Stockholm, so we said our goodbyes just after passing through passport control. I really enjoyed travelling with Michelle, Nicky and Neil and we all agreed that having a good guide like Elena was crucial to getting the most out of a trip to St Petersburg. Having thought I would not want to go back to Russia after all the hassles with visa applications to go on this trip, I found myself thinking what else I might like to see in St Petersburg if I came again. I also began to wonder about what Moscow would be like…