Well, this is the one place that was on my must do list, as the guidebook made it look stunning, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
After arriving on the fast hydrofoil boat that looked like a fish…
I couldn’t help but be taken aback by the opulence of this place.
There was gold everywhere! And when the sun came out this place truly shone, with the rays bouncing off the gold statues and weaving in and out of the sprays of water, the palace gardens felt magical.
I visited the gardens and took several photos, but unfortunately you were not allowed to take photos in the actual palace. This was a shame because when I first walked up the main staircase and into the main room, I literally gasped it was so beautiful. The walls were adorned in gold, gold and more gold! What made it so special were the chandeliers and small mirrors which just made the place glow.
They even have surfing ducks!
It’s amazing where pointing and hand gestures can get you!
A cheeky red squirrel! Wouldn’t quite turn around for me so this is the best I got 🙂
So after I’d spent hours wandering the beautiful gardens and palace, although it had been a little cold I didn’t think the weather had been too bad, however, as I headed towards the pier at 6pm to get my boat back, the wind almost knocked me sideways! I made a beeline for the ticket office to show them my return ticket, only to be told ‘no more boats, weather very bad’. Oh, ok, so ‘how do I get back to St Petersburg then?’ (It’s about 20 miles away). ‘Bus’. Oh, ok, ‘so how do I get the bus?’ To this the lady points towards the palace. With this I hesitantly headed back towards the palace, quietly thinking, oh shit, how am I gonna do this then?!
I managed to get directions to the bus station and found the bus station, only to be greeted by lots of buses with nothing but Russian written on them (obviously!). So I say St Petersburg to the bus driver who promptly nodded and I hopped on. After a forty minute bus ride, the end of the line came, but unfortunately it did not come with any familiar sight at all! Saying the name of the main street in St Petersburg to the bus driver and conductress, neither of whom spoke any English, the driver kindly showed me his phone with another number on it, presumably the number of another bus I needed to get. Walking around a bus station with no such bus of that number, or even a bus stop with it on, well the feeling is hard to describe….I knew I’d do it eventually, but it suddenly makes you very, very aware, and it seems all your senses take a power boost to get you to where you want to be! Managed to find a metro, something I wasn’t going to bother with as I was intent on walking everywhere as I thought it would be easier, but when needs must….and it actually turned out to be the easiest bit of it anyway….(although this isn’t the case in Moscow, more on that later).