OK, so what happened in August 2014?
I visited St. Petersburg, that’s what.
Well, a very close friend invited me over. I w as very, VERY skeptical, though. The memories of my time in Russia almost a decade earlier, still stuck deep within me. I was certainly not keen on crossing that border with Finland, and stepping into that dark zone again.
But, I did. Something about “facing one’s fears”, I suppose.
St. Petersburg — August 2014
The trip to St. Petersburg was a long one — 7 hours on a mini-bus, across the border, and into Russia.
I was there for only a week, or so (if I remember correctly). Things had definitely changed — people were less barbaric, more open and tolerant than before.
Oh, there were the usual ass-clowns, of course. But, you see those everywhere.
The Hermitage Museum
The State Hermitage Museum, or simply “The Hermitage”, is a museum of art and culture. It’s one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, and has been open to the public since 1852.
Its collections — of which only a small part is on permanent display — comprise over three million items (the numismatic collection accounts for about one-third of them), including the largest collection of paintings in the world. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace (a former residence of Russian emperors). Apart from these, the Hermitage also includes: the Menshikov Palace, Museum of Porcelain, Storage Facility at Staraya Derevnya, and the eastern wing of the General Staff Building.
Of the six buildings comprising the main museum complex, only five — the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage and Hermitage Theatre — are open to the public.
I really liked the Hermitage — but then, as I said before, I always admired the Russian culture and history.
Right outside The Hermitage, these scooters were being rented out by the quarter-hour. I decided to fulfill a long-standing, silly dream of mine, to ride one of them (LOL)
Get a load of me…………………..(hehe)