Julia had told me not to go out on my own because it could be dangerous for me. It was very wise advice and I'm very grateful, but on Sunday morning I felt like escaping for a little while. There weren't too many people around and I thought it should be okay. I decided that I would walk along Nevsky Prospekt, from my hotel, but in the direction that would take me away from the centre and the tourist attractions to the Neva River as it loops around back towards the city. It was trying to rain as I looked both ways from the shelter of the hotel doorway. I couldn't see anyone who looked particularly suspicious, so I ventured out.
Saint Petersburg is going through a major upheaval and a restoration of a lot of its buildings and this work is especially obvious along Nevsky Prospekt, as you will see.
The overhead wires you can see are everywhere and it's because Saint Petersburg has a large fleet of trolley-buses.
This statue is at the far end of Nevsky Prospekt, and I believe it depicts Peter the Great, though I'm not sure.
I'm sure that if you turned over a stone in Antarctica somewhere you would find this lot underneath it.
Back to the square near my hotel
By this time Julia's brother had come to see me and we walked into the city centre together.
Statue of Catherine the Great
Saint Petersburg is sometimes known as the Venice of the north. This little scene made it look more like the Montmartre of the north, to me!
By now, as you can see, the rain had long gone and the beautiful blue skies were back. This is the Lutheran church of Saint Peter.
And this is why it can have the title of the Venice of the north.
The grand archway that leads through to Palace Square
Palace Square. The building up ahead is the Winter Palace, now part of the State Hermitage Museum. Sadly, at the moment it is covered in scaffolding and tarpaulins because it is being painted.
A City Tour bus. I really didn't expect to see a red, double-decker bus in Saint Petersburg.
Saint Isaac's cathedral
A very imposing looking entrance
Gardens near the Admiralty building
The sun glinting off the golden spire of the Admiralty building
By now we had met up with Julia and her (my) friends and Alice. As we were walking towards Michael's Garden near the Church of the Spilt Blood we saw this man busking using glasses to make incredible music. Funnily enough we had only been talking about him the previous evening. Julia very kindly bought me his CD as a present. It contains great music played in a unique and beautiful way and is something that I will always treasure. Thanks again, dear, it really made my day.
The Church of the Spilt Blood
And finally, in Michael's Garden, such a peaceful little spot in the very centre of the city.