St. Petersburg Day 3 - October 7, 2006

Off at 8:30 for the Theater Arts Academy for another demonstration class on body movement, etc. Interesting, but not very different form what we had observed in Moscow. Then we began a drive, on a beautiful day, fortunately, to Peterhof. Peter's country home on the Gulf of Finland west of the city. We arrived in time for lunch at a restaurant in a beautiful hotel on the greater grounds of Peterhof Then we were off on a tour of the Peterhof grounds with Elina and Mischa leading two groups.

The overview picture shows the Grand Palace with the gardens and fountains we toured in the foreground. We did not tour the Grand Palace but instead went to Mon Plaisir, Peter's private palace on the shore of the Gulf. (After the Winter palace yesterday and with Catherine's Palace planned for tomorrow, that was a good plan. The overview does not show the extent of the gardens between the fountain area and the Gulf, nor does it show Mon Plaisir. I didn't get any pictures in Mon Plaisir but Bill Scheerer did, and they are accessible here.

The fountains are grand and and the gardens nearby are beautiful. There was a good crowd out since it was Saturday and the weather was great. We walked down to Mon Plaisir and went through it. It is, of course, moderately grand even though it was supposed to be Peter's informal home away from home. Then we went out on the terrace to look at the Gulf of Finland. Far offshore, and too small to be identified, was a work area with a nearby moored catamaran, which were exposed by my telephoto lens.

We walked back to the bus for the long ride back into St. Petersburg, but first we stopped at the small town near Peterhof for a photo op of a church there. Dinner was early, at the hotel, and we then were taken to the Philharmonic for a concert. This was quite interesting. The program began with the Beethoven Triple Concerto and concluded with the Beethoven Ninth Symphony. The
conductor and soloists were Swedish, the orchestra Russian, and the choir Icelandic. It was quite good. At the end we naturally rose to leave, only to find that the Icelandic choir wanted to sing a little more and we stopped in the aisles to listen. A very nice evening. The concert was one of a number being given in Northern Europe to benefit the Hospice movement.

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