Saturday, February 11, 2012

2011 SFC Peterhof

We recovered quickly from the food and wine extravaganza that was the Vintage Room dinner, and it is a good thing. While sleeping off the dinner, we crossed into Russian waters and found ourselves in St. Petersburg, Russia in the early morning.

Now, those of you who have known me most of my life will know that Russia has always held a mystical magical place in my heart. I have no idea why, but from an early age I have been fascinated with her and her people. I majored in Russian (along with Technical Theatre) in college. I was lucky enough to visit Leningrad and the area around Moscow in the last days of the Soviet Union, and to return again in 2006 on our first Crystal cruise. I've enjoyed every second I have spent in Russia.

Our first excursion of this visit was a trip to Peterhof on the Baltic Sea. Peter the Great knew how to build a house, that's for sure.

We boarded a hydrofoil not far from Crystal Serenity.

It was a pleasant, enjoyable ride.

Looking back, we could see that Serenity was taking on bunker.

Arriving with just a little more speed than Peter did, we debarked onto the pier next to a lovely beach area...

and had our first view of Peterhof, the sea canal leading our eye up toward its legendary fountains.

The family enjoyed the short stroll and learned a little of Peterhof's history from out tour guide.

Alix enjoying the cooling breezes of the fountains--YES, it was a hot day!!!

How does one find words for such splendid surroundings?

Peterhof's legendary fountains are all gravity fed from large ponds at the top of the estate.

Ok, I was sneaky (bad tourist, no cookie!). I forgot to turn my camera off and "just accidentally" hit the shutter button once or twice... JUST ONCE OR TWICE!

Can't resist costumed characters...

Don't you know Tsar Peter and Empress Catherine were HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many couples use the beautiful backdrop of Peterhof to marry. This bride was NOT happy that every tourist was snapping her photo.

More strolling.

Children are children the world 'round.

Such a lovely summer day.

Down by sea, by the Mon Plasir pavillion, stands the statue of Neptune. It is supposedly very good luck to rub his feet.

Never one to take chances with luck.

Yes, there were many sightseers, but it never felt crowded. Just a breathtakingly beautiful visit.

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