>Day 59 (Monday). Last day in St. Petersburg.

>We woke up this morning to the astonishing news regarding Bin Laden. We at first thought it couldn’t be true, but were able to get BBC on our TV to confirm the news, and to listen to the President’s announcement. As someone who had experienced the terror of 9/11 first-hand, the news was very emotional for me, vividly bringing back memories of that horrific day. While I know we don’t all agree on how this should have been handled, I was very happy to hear the news.

While the Russian foreign ministry announced their support of the effort, the people on the street appeared to be totally indifferent. We felt that bin Laden and Al-Qaeda have not permeated the average Russian’s conscience. The editorials in the Russian papers were mixed, but no more so than the mixed responses that we heard from the American news reports.

Anyway, it took us some time to unglue ourselves to go out. We had originally planned to go to the Pushkin museum, in a house where he had lived, but couldn’t quite get ourselves up for that, so decided to just wander.

When we walked out, we noticed that after yesterday’s parade, they had now decorated the street for the upcoming Victory Day…

(note: for a couple of days it appears my camera had been set wrong, and unfortunately, it didn’t show up on my camera viewer, but was only evident when I loaded the photos onto my iPad…I have now fixed it, but for a couple of days, all of my photos are dark….may be able to fix on computer when I get home).

In our wandering we ended up at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, which we had been by a few times, but had not yet gone inside. It is the largest cathedral in the city and was the largest cathedral in Russia when it was first built You can go up what they call the Colonnade…

which takes you up 185 steps for a 360 degree view…

Two of the four apostle statues which are at the compass points of the church….

(these photos were so awesome in my camera viewer? 🙁

Then we went inside the cathedral, and it was pretty awesome…(ceiling)

This was done in mosaic…

This was the detail on the huge door which covered the entire door…

Both Greek and Italian influences throughout this church, which was designed by a French architect. The inside is much more impressive than the outside….although it’s a large building, it’s gray, and quite dreary outside. This church had sustained significant damage during WWII and then it became an atheist museum under Stalin and has only recently been restored.

We had driven by Faberge’s original headquarters, so decided to look for it, as it still has their name etched on the building…

We then headed to an Armenian restaurant, Erivan, on the embankment of the canal close to our hotel. We thought about our good Armenian friend, Tina! And it was great, so a good ending to our time in St. Petersburg.

Tomorrow, back to Moscow!

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