Today we got up on time and took a trolly-bus to the Hermitage.
The Hermitage is a fairly large building. (UNDERSTATEMENT)
The first Thursday of every month is free day at the Hermitage, so it was a good day to go. Mr.D, in his ongoing crusade to have us all awake before 9am, gave us his usual shout-out through the bedroom door: "TIME TO GET UP, GIRLS! BREAKFAST IN A FEW MINUTES!" The D children are hard sleepers. I am a light sleeper, and this new experience of morning reveille nearly gave me a heart attack at first.
Apparently the Hermitage is comparable to the Louvre in some ways. Not having been to the Louvre, it's hard for me to proclaim if it is. The Hermitage was originally a winter palace for Catherine the Great. There so much history, so much artwork, so much woodwork and gilt and scroll-work and statuary and mosaics that there's no way I could summarize it here.
Photography was allowed in almost all rooms, just without the flash. I ended up without many good photos because of the soft lighting. The kids all did real well about not touching and I think we only set off the alarms a few times. Most of the artwork was not roped off so one could get quite close to most paintings.
The floor was a work of art as well. It would have been great for dancing. As it was, walking all over it wore me out quite enough. By the time we reached the Rembrandts and Brughels I had seen more gilt gold, grandeur and paintings of naked people than I've ever seen in one place before. We were all ready for lunch.
We walked back downstairs through ancient Egypt to the cafe and gift shop for a sweet respite.
Hieroglyphics on the way to lunch.
After lunch we went up on the third floor where we breezed through the modern art of Matisse, Van Gogh, and Picasso.
Nanny 2 was the only one among us who really professed to love modern art.
This interesting fellow was lying by the back door when we were trying to find the way out. At this point in the day I found him to be a refreshing form of variety. Down on the bottom level there were old old things, and unopened crates of more old things.
The front gate, leading to the courtyard and museum entrance.
After the modern art we worked our way back to the coat check and made our way out the door. We stopped to look at the nearby Neva River and then caught our trolly-bus back home, to dinner and bed. We complied a short list of places we'd all like to visit, D family and nannies alike, while we're here. Since taking everyone out is rather a job we'll probably only go sightseeing when the D parents are here and not away speaking. We're hoping to visit Vyborg again before we leave, and we are going to a children's ballet right before we leave. Otherwise the one place I'm hoping to see is Peter and Paul Fortress.