Last few days in St Petersburg

Today marks 4 weeks since we left the states. The weather has been remarkably good……until the last few days.

On Saturday, we left the house with most of us in shorts, and quickly regretted it. I hurried back to the apartment to get coats and pants for everyone.

It looked like it was a nice day, but it was cold. In the 40’s

We started off with some St Petersburg donuts, called пышки or pyishky. To me they were just heavy fried dough, but the kids loved them. I think they’d eat shaving cream though if you sprinkled it with sugar.

Next, we visited the Faberge museum. For the kids it was just another boring museum, until we made up a new game for them. They each “won” 200 rubles if they found the one item in each room if the museum that we gave them clues about. Turned out this made the museum not only tolerable, but fun. I did have to remind them fifteen times in each room to walk, not run.

Anyway, the Faberge museum houses a lot of examples of exquisite Russian craftsmanship, with its most famous being Faberge eggs.

The most important religious holiday in Russia is Easter. At some point, a man named Faberge created a decorative egg for the radial family for Easter. This tradition caught on and continued for many years, the eggs becoming more and more elaborate. Some of the eggs house intricate gears that animate jeweled hens. There were something like 60 of these eggs in total created, and each is worth millions.

During this time period (1800’s I think) Russian silversmiths, stone cutters, and Jewelers in specific areas were unrivaled in the world.

Anyway, here are a few photos from the Faberge museum.

It’s hard to get a photograph that shows the intricacies of the Faberge eggs.
That round Crystal on the end is actually a flat diamond over the empress’s emblem.
Carved marble fireplace in the Faberge museum.

After the Faberge museum, we took a boat tour of the canals and the Neva River

The next day, it was cold and rainy all day. Ashley ventured into the city (sounds like it was a cold and wet venture), and I stayed with the kids. So aside from a 10 minute jaunt to the playground near our apartment, during which time we all got cold and wet, we had to entertain ourselves inside.

Playing “trash”and dining herbal tea.

Nolan and Margaret ran through a whole team of paper in about 15 minutes

Today (Monday), Ashley and the kids hit up a mall with a trampoline park and a bunch of other games and rides. They had a blast. They also found a bakery that sold in Jane’s words, “best macaroons I’ve ever had”. So it was a great day for them.

I visited the Russian state museum. Another boring museum. But full of more incredible art. I can’t believe the the sculptures. Here are a few highlights from the museum.

Catherine the Great
Detail from the sculpture

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