Food was not the primary focus of our trip to Russia but it was the unexpected star. We ate phenomenal fresh and marinated fish, wonderful mushroom dishes celebrating autumn and some of the most delicious desserts I have eaten anywhere. Read on for the highlights and a list of restaurants where you can sample these delights.
As someone who grew up during the Cold War and its aftermath, the splendor of Russia’s churches and palaces was a revelation. I read enough Tolstoy and Chekhov to know that religious institutions played a major roll pre-1917, but in St. Petersburg as in Moscow, their beauty and stature were impressive to behold.
In 1703, Peter the Great (1672-1725) moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg where the city was built on a series of islands in the Neva River. (The city was named in honor of St. Peter, not its founder as is often assumed.) However, the river near the capital was too shallow for commercial traffic or warships, necessitating the construction of a fortress and port further west. Peter designed a palace complex at Peterhof, on the Gulf of Finland, including his beloved summer retreat Monplaisir. From this strategic location, he could see the Kronstadt fortress as well as the city of St. Petersburg. Continue reading “Palaces and Fountains of Peterhof”
We took the high speed train from Moscow and arrived in St. Petersburg at night which allowed us the optimal amount of time in both cities. The train was extremely comfortable – as nice as the Shinkansen and Eurostar. The stations in both cities are centrally located which makes travel that way the best choice. Continue reading “The Glorious City of St. Petersburg, pt I”
My gustatory life before Russia did not include herring, or at least not the succulent mouthwatering fish I grew to crave during my time there. Any previous encounters were most likely at overladen buffet tables, with some mysterious white sauce and not of a very high standard. From our first dinner in Moscow and for the next eight days, I made sure to have herring at … Continue reading Foodie Friday | Head over Heels for Herring
The sun never made an appearance during our three days in Moscow, but nothing could dim my excitement at discovering this remarkable city. There is so much more to the Russian capital than I had ever imagined. This is the first of several posts sharing our sights and experiences. Continue reading “Moscow | Red Square and the Kremlin”