November 13, 2005: Kyushu - Latvia Snow Club
(No.10) Saint Petersburg
The late Dr. Ukichiro Nakaya was a Japanese snow and ice researcher who created artificial snow crystals for the first time in the world. Mr. Kentarou Nakaya, a nephew of Ukichiro, one day introduced us of a very good tour to Latvia to join an official meeting called "The dialogue of ice and snow exhibition" to be held at National Museum of Natural History in Riga City in November.
We took a simple breakfast as we had to start early in the morning.
After check-in, we spent a short time in the tax-free shopping arcade in the airport.
A big staffed rain deer welcomed us. Lovely St. Claus dolls were ready to depart to all around the world.
We headed to St. Petersburg Russia at 9:50 a.m.
Before the noon (an hour time difference), we arrived at St.Petersburg of Russia. Just at the landing moment,kids passengers behind me applauded all together. Was the flight not so safe?
The immigration to Russia needed the passport and visa. I felt tension a little.
Mr. Alexander, a Russian guide, welcomed us with fluent Japanese. He is an assistant professor of National St.Petersburg University. His specialty is Japanese modern history. He said in Russia, it was popular for people to have three to four businesses.
The rain was a typical scene of this time St.Petersburg, he explained.
About 30 minutes drive from the airport took us to central zone.
St.Petersburg is the second largest city of Russia at the mouth of Neva River with the residence of 5 million.
The city boasts of its beautiful canal scene with 345 bridges over the network of the canal. The canal and buildings make a very beautiful contrast. Peter the Great completed the city in 1703 and the city became the capital of Russia in 1712. After the end of the World War 1, the city's name was changed to Petro Grade in 1914.
The capital was moved to Moscow in 1918, after one year of Russian Revolution. In 1924, Petro Grade was renamed Leningrad after the death of Lenin. The very night of the destruction of USSR, Leningrad resident voted to restore their city's name to present St.Petersburg.
The great writers like Pushkin and Dostoevsky loved the city very much and still attract many Russian literature lovers every year. Current Russian president Puchin was born here as well. St.Petersburg is called "North Venis" and has very beautiful scenery of the canal and building.
We enjoyed a Russian home lunch. I took soda water and tried vodka a little shared with my husband.
Beafstroganov was very good with tasty rice and bean. Spices and herbs were used very well.
Marinsky Theatre. Many members visited it in the evening.
The State Hermitage Museum was one of our target this time visit to Russia. The Museum is called Winter Palace.
We found a coach tour service at the square. The beautiful complex of the square and Hermitage fascinate the visitors who desert their attentions to the wallets and precious belongings in the pocket.
The State Hermitage Museum is a really luxurious building having white pillars, green walls, and rich golden accents. Taking pictures needs the permission.
It may take many days to look through the palace. Mr.Alexander took us around points of interests efficiently. This is Matisse room.
Not only the art collections, but also the inside of the building itself was very beautiful.
Before the Museum was closed, we picked up our coats at the cloak corner. Unbelievable tourists visit the Museum in high seasons. Even in a off time like now, the cloak was very crowded as seen in the picture.
The illuminated Hermitage was great in the darkness.
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