March 24, 2013

Peterhof Palace in St. Pete's

How's that for alliteration. It was a hot and muggy July day when we decided to venture out of St. Petersburg and take the hydrofoil to visit Peterhof Palace, sometimes known as the "Russian Versailles." When we stepped onto the dock at the Palace, about 20 minutes north of the city, we were rewarded by cool breezes and fresh forest-y air.

Peterhof Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
The hydrofoil is super easy to take. You can hop on at a little dock next to the Hermitage. Yeah, it's shabby and possibly not that safe... but if you're in Russia you are probably ok with that sort of thing.

Hydrofoil to Peterhof Palace
From the dock we first walked all around the gardens, touring the outlying buildings, staring out toward the Gulf of Finland, playing in the water fountains, people watching, and enjoying a cold ice cream.

Gardens at Peterhof Palace
Peterhof Palace 
Having and ice cream at Peterhof Palace
Fountain at Peterhof Palace
Next we made our way up the stairs see Peterhof Palace up close and watch the water fountain show - along with thousands of other tourists. The people watching is almost better than Disneyland.

Peterhof Pose
Fountains at Peterhof

There is a little village area with several places to eat. Our lunch at Shtandart was surprisingly good. We sat outside on the terrace and had a great salad followed by smoked salmon dish. Although a little pricey, the respite was worth it.

Shtandart restaurant at Peterhof Palace
Smoked Salmon lunch at Shtandart, Peterhof Palace

After a few days touring around St. Petersburg I would say that Peterhof Palace is the second best sight the city has to offer. The Hermitage is, of course #1!

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