Posted by: travelrat | February 25, 2013

Spilled Blood and Vodka.

St Peter & St Paul 2

St Petersburg: 28th November 2012.

There were quick photo stops on the way back to St. Petersburg, which weren’t on the itinerary, but which the guide was anxious that we should see. I’m sure she said that the ornate Orthodox church we stopped at was the ‘Peter and Paul Church’, but I can’t find any reference to it … and it certainly isn’t the St. Peter & Paul Cathedral, which can’t be mistaken.

Nevertheless, the pictures I took of it are unmistakeably Russian, especially with the light dusting of snow on the ground.

But, the identity of the next church was in no doubt. The Church of Our Saviour of the Spilled Blood was started in 1883 under the orders of Tsar Alexander III, on the site of the assassination of his father, Alexander II. Quite a lad was ‘Alex 2’; he’s the one who sold Alaska to the US in 1867, and earlier,  in his youth, sought the hand of our own Queen Victoria. Of course, Prince Albert beat him to it, but I can’t help thinking how much different our history would be if he’d been successful.

Spilled Blood

Here, photographers have a choice; chop the top off the church or make it look as if it was leaning backwards. The obvious answer would be to move further away … if you want to take your life in both hands, for St. Petersburg traffic takes no prisoners!

And so to lunch … in no ordinary restaurant, but a converted palace.

The Restaurant

We were served a four-course meal, centred around a dish similar to Chicken Supreme, which we thought was rather bland; we were expecting a hearty stew or something. But then, we’d got used to the excellent cuisine on the ship. And, there was vodka! I don’t normally like vodka, but this stuff was smooth; obviously one of the better brands. Only one glass, though; we still had the Hermitage to visit.



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