St Peter and Paul Fortress/Cathedral
On our way from the Faberge Museum.
We passed the Red Army museum that had mobile missile launcher group from the Cold War outside.
I had watched a helicopter circling over the city as we’d been driving around. There it was landed in the large grassed open space in front of the citadel walls. There was a small crowd at the tape barriers and I ran across the road to join them.
I was in luck as the steps were folded and the doors closed. Then the helicopter began to spin it’s rotors. I was only a handful of yards away as the main rotor be going to spin faster and faster throwing up large clouds of dust and grass.
The helicopter gently lifted off the ground and the down draught that hit me was terrific. Then the helicopter dipped and went away with another load of sightseers.
I rushed through the gates and caught up with the rest of our group as they were making their way across the cobbled square to the cathedral. The Spire of the cathedral is the highest in the whole of St Petersburg and city wide rules stop any building to be taller.
We joined the queue to go inside while we waited for Svetlana to join us with tickets. Once inside we went to the left away from the crowds to listen to Svetlana tell us about the cathedral and the royal tombs inside.
We looked at the nearby tombs of the Czars and their families before joining the queue to look at the terms of Czar Nicholas XXX XX in an alcove at the back of the cathedral.
Progress was slow in this queue as other guides would stop and then start briefings rather than going forward to the alcove. Once there I was busy trying to set up my camera to cope with the low light when I was tapped on my back and told to “move now “. It seems that without a guide to protector us we were fair game to be bullied by the other guides.
I did get off my shot before I moved away to join everyone else on our way out of the cathedral.
Across the cobbled square is the Russian mint.
This was our last visit of the day and once in the minibus we set off back across St Petersburg to the cruise ship terminal.