Author Topic: Trip to Alexander Palace? [2005]  (Read 39832 times)

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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #135 on: January 19, 2005, 09:52:09 AM »
Bob has lead several similar tours before. Yes, some people do not like the "organized" scheduled regimen of such a tour. The problem when dealing with groups is simply this, either everyone just goes off and does their own thing all day OR you give up that flexibility and allow a set schedule. One either accepts that before hand or not. On Bob's tours, no one is forced to go anywhere or do anything they don't want to. You don't want to go to place X that afternoon as scheduled, fine, don't go. Hire a cab and do what you will. Dashkova just seems to be the "type" of personality that does not get along well with a fixed daily regimen, if you are that type of personality, then a group tour is not for you. I have done both group tours and independant travel. Both have advantages and disadvantages. My best advice is this, once you have paid your money, you might as well make the best of it instead of allowing yourself to be miserable. You have the choice to try to enjoy the tour or have it ruined, but that choice is YOURS and is not inflicted on you by anyone else.

I think both sides of the issue have been presented and we can move forward with the discussion.

FA

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #136 on: January 19, 2005, 10:52:00 AM »
Well, I think a list of "musts" would be most useful for Bob to plan the trip as well, if everyone agrees on certain places to go, then Bob can arrange things accordingly.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #137 on: January 19, 2005, 11:37:11 PM »
Okay, I'll bite. Here is what I would like to see in the City of Peter:

1. Winter Palace/Hermitage
2. Fortress of Peter and Paul
3. Church of the Savior (the one built after AII assassinated?)
4. The Bronze Horseman

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #138 on: January 20, 2005, 10:39:23 AM »
Like Dashkova, I too am adverse to group tours. Having said that, I am going on one to China this Springtime- there really was no realistic alternative. I know plenty of people who have done so independantly [Chines as well as Westerners] had came back miserable if not actually very ill.
However, my recent visit to St.P. was semi-independant in that I had a private guide. Actaually, he acted more of a translator as I pretty much had the histories down long before. We got along very well, became friends, and I met some really nice folks because of him. I have seen Liss's  "top 4' now so would have others on my list- however the Hermitage is so vast that one visit can never be considered a "been there, done that" experience. I would in such a case do simply as Bob mentioned- bow out of a particular activity and meet my new friends for some other adventure.
Also, I have just noticed- well I just returned home so I do not know howq long this has been announced, that ANOTHER Romanov tour is being organized for the same time period, with St.P. and the Crimea as a focus.
AND, I have the Suzanne Massie catalogue to look through as well- but THAT is not of much interest I think- for me.
So many choices....
Cheers,
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #139 on: January 20, 2005, 12:06:36 PM »
Quote
... however the Hermitage is so vast that one visit can never be considered a "been there, done that" experience.
 In order to cover even a small portion of the Hermitage, it would take many many days! The best thing to do is to figure out exactly what you would most want to see there and just try to see that. To try to cover too much in a limited amount of time can be very frustrating. I would recommend seeing the clock that one of Catherine the Great's lovers gave her (I think it was Potemkin). It is very interesting to see, especially if you catch it at noon (if I remember correctly) when it becomes animated.

But what I said above actually applies to St Petersburg in general - there is so much to see and do that you always feel like you haven't seen nearly as much as you would like to. I can confidently say that even if you go there for a full month, you can't cover even a fraction.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #140 on: January 20, 2005, 12:14:46 PM »
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3. Church of the Savior (the one built after AII assassinated?)
Lisa, do you mean "Cathedral on the Spilt Blood?" or is this another memorial cathedral for A II's assasination?

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #141 on: January 20, 2005, 12:43:43 PM »
Agreed Helen, regarding the Hermitage and St. P in general.

We were in St. P four days and received a wonderful overview of the city, but of course my real preference--if I had the bucks and time!--would be to stay there for about a month.

Since most of us can't do that, a tour is by all means a wonderful alternative, especially when led by someone as knowledgeable as Bob.

What I remember of our tour to the Hermitage--aside from being let in ahead of others, which I found embarrassing  :-/ but which our guide explained was both necessary and typical--was the vastness of it all, the beautiful Malachite Room, the room the Kerensky faction was occupying when the October revolution began, the spacious theater, the countless galleries with incredible works of art (my favorite being the famous dancers by Matisse) and looking out on the vast square where the tragedy of January 22, 1905 took place.

BTW, be sure to wear comfortable shoes . . . those floors would be great for rollerskating, but are hard on the metatarsals!  ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Janet_W. »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #142 on: January 20, 2005, 01:00:11 PM »
One of my favorite pieces at the Hermitage is 'The Breakfast' by Velázquez...  



There are so many worthwhile works of art to see that it is so upsetting to go there and then have to leave so soon!

What was also embarrassing was that at the entrance to the Hermitage a live band would break out into Star Spangled Banner when they saw a herd of Americans filing inside! They did this in the hopes of getting  some $$$ of course  ::)

Offline chintz22

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #143 on: January 20, 2005, 01:36:50 PM »
Hi All,

A canvas I loved in the Hermitage was Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt.  Usually I'm not overly fond of that artist, but this painting was so moving.  I'd recommend seeking it out.

Best,

Sarah


Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #144 on: January 20, 2005, 01:43:03 PM »
Quote
Hi All,

A canvas I loved in the Hermitage was Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt.  


Sarah, I saw this one there too! Our guide even pointed out the one female and one male hand of the father! It's a wonderful painting.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #145 on: January 20, 2005, 02:57:27 PM »
The clock that I mentioned before is called  The Peacock Clock. I made a mistake, it is every Wednesday at 5pm that the clock is wound. Here is some info about the clock and where it can be found, it is truly magnificent and worth while to see!



The Peacock Clock is located in the Pavilion Hall (Room 204) is a must see. This magnificent gilded clock with automata, was made by a celebrated English clockmaker in the 18th century. The "clock" is a peacock on a gilded tree branch (completed with gilded leaves), an owl in a cage, and a rooster.
     Each Wednesday at 5:00 pm, the Peacock Clock is wound up. The gilded peacock spreads its tail, the "feathers" raise upright, and the whole bird rotates around, while the owl bobs in his cage, opening and closing his eyes. This is truly wonderful to see, but crowds line up, so get there early to get a place close to the peacock. (While you're waiting, you can admire the marble floors and chandeliers in the Pavilion Room.)

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #146 on: January 20, 2005, 08:31:15 PM »
Other potential "don't miss" outings:

Russian Museum
Canal cruise
Evening at the Mariinsky

I'm more of a Moscow person (and Ekaterinburg, for that matter), but those are three St.P "excursions" I really enjoyed.

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #147 on: January 20, 2005, 08:37:37 PM »
Quote

Other potential "don't miss" outings:

Russian Museum
Canal cruise
Evening at the Mariinsky


Yes, absolutely!

Offline Arleen

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #148 on: January 22, 2005, 03:24:04 PM »
One place I would love to see in St. Petersburg is the Yussoupov's palace on the Moika.....that is IF I were going.  I would give anything to be able to go but am unable, so it hurts to see some of you"all bickering over silly things.....
..Arleen

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Re: Trip to Alexander Palace?
« Reply #149 on: January 22, 2005, 03:29:24 PM »
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One place I would love to see in St. Petersburg is the Yussoupov's palace on the Moika.....


Arleen, I had the opportunity to visit the Yussupov Moika Palace and it was really interesting! I was a little bit dissapointed with the set-up in the basement, the cheesy wax figures and such (I would do it very differently if it were up to me), but it was still really neat to visit such an infamous spot. One thing about the Moika palace, it was kept intact since the revolution, unlike many other mansions and palaces, so most things are original!