Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Leaving The Hermitage In Awe

The Lonely Planet guidebook said in its list of things to do in St. Petersburg: Leave the Hermitage in awe. Well, we did that - and then some.

Thanks to a family friend with some great connections, we secured these VIP passes to the Hermitage, but didn't actually realize the gold we were holding in our hands. After bypassing a line-up of about 300 people outside the Winter Palace, we were ushered into the museum like gods and after dashing up to the third floor, we had the entire place to ourselves for an entire hour. I don't mean that it wasn't very crowded, I mean that we were the only people there. It was like they had closed off the museum just for our private viewing and we wandered the multiple rooms of Matisse and Picasso and Gauguin with our mouths hanging open. The photographs below are of the Gauguin Tahitian room, the spectacular view from said room and a particularly nice Matisse (click on photos for larger view). It was possibly one of the best hours of my life.

Gauguin Tahitian Room, Hermitage Woman in Green, Matisse Shot From Inside Gauguin Room, Hermitage

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