We leave Russia today after touring Peter’s Palace in the morning. One palace is ok, two is redundant, pointless seeing a third. I found Peter’s more interesting than Catherine’s, because he didn’t get so hung up on gold leaf — he mixed it up a bit. He also put in some nice fountains. The Nazis tore this one up also.
Then we got on board ship and headed into the Baltic, next stop Helsinki, Finland. We passed the Soviet submarine shipyards where all the nuclear subs were built, then miles of amazing commercial shipyards and docks. Two oil tankers were under construction, ice breakers lined up, and docks covered with containers and other assorted stuff coming and going.
There were a lot of surprises in St Petersburg. The streets are filled with new model cars of all makes. One taxi company had all Chevy’s. Also saw a Rolls-Royce, Bentleys, big Mercedes, and lots of BMW’s. The streets are filled with stylishly dressed young people well into the evening. I expected signs of a tougher life. Maybe St Petersburg is wealthier than other parts of Russia, or maybe we only saw the good side of town.