In some ways St. Petersburg was what I was afraid of when I decided to go on a Baltic cruise. Foreign tourists may disembark a ship for the day without a visa, but only if they are on an organized tour with a licensed Russian tour guide. On the first day the ship docked about 2 hours late. Everything was delayed and the Hermitage was so crowded that enjoying the paintings was nearly impossible. A lot of what one gets to see is from the window of a bus.
The second day in St Petersburg I took a bus tour to Catherine’s Palace and Peterhof Palace. It was a difficult day photographically, with a white sky and crowds everywhere. I must have spent about 5 hours on the bus getting around through the Russian traffic which is actually worse than Houston. At least it wasn’t steaming hot outside.
All but the last photo in the gallery were shot at Peterhof.