From Russia With Love
The next morning I awakened at around 9:00 to an amazing sunrise. The sun was a bright fluorescent orangey-pink muffled by purpley-grey misty clouds over the Neva and the City, and since we were so far north, it didn’t just rise UP, but also sideways, so it was over some buildings at 9:00, and other buildings at 9:30. At 10:00 we finally got our city tour, and saw among other things the enormous prison where lots of political dissidents spent a lot of horrible times, and where Peter the Great tortured and killed his son.
We saw Nevsky Prospekt, the main commercial street of St. Pete’s, and of course many views of the beautiful Neva River, the cathedrals, the European architecture, exceedingly well-dressed people (like in Moscow, knee-high black patent leather boots are an essential in any respectable woman’s wardrobe), palaces, etc.
Then we went to Pushkin, a favorite hangout of, I think, Catherine the Great, which one
well-traveled person in our group said was more impressive than Versailles. It really was amazing, all the rooms with silk wallpaper and tapestries and paintings on ceilings and crystal chandeliers and molded awnings and sculptures and paintings.
Most impressive was the Amber Room, a gift from Germany I think, a long time ago, which was stolen back by Germany in WWII and only recently partially recovered. I’ll bring back a brochure that has pictures, because it is hard to describe, but it is basically a whole room covered floor to ceiling in carved amber of every color and degree of clarity, just beautiful.
Then we went to a Folk Show, which was full of obnoxious American tourists, including one who told us he was here “lookin’ for a Russian bride” and was obviously meant for exactly that audience, but the performers were definitely talented, and had fun with it, and it wasn’t hard to get caught up in it enough to really enjoy it.
Then we went to a club called Metro, which had three stories and a dance floor on each one, techno, American pop, and Russian pop, and all were full of happy and energetic Russians and good music and lighting, I especially liked the techno
floor with its green laser lights that bounced around the room, and both floors and platforms to dance on.