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Russia - St. Petersburg

This street musician had the coolest Rube Goldberg contraption of a musical instrument I've seen yet.  The body is a Balalaika, which is a 3 stringed Russian musical instrument that Marina plays.  He took that and added a guitar neck to it, and moved the Balalaika strings up above it.  He added the puppet that plays along with him and does a little dance.  The puppet looks forlornly down at the hat in search of money when there isn't much there.  Add the bells and pipes and he put on a pretty good show.  I put some money in the hat, which got a little jig from the puppet.
This is the Winter Palace.  The building to the left of the square is the Hermitage.  You can get some idea of its size from the people that are standing close to it.  You can't adequately see it in a day.
Peter the Great spent a lot of time in Europe learning various trades, and didn't seem to care what anyone thought of them.  He learned a bit of dentistry, and then went about filling the teeth of his friends.  Here's a display of nobleman's teeth he pulled from one of the museums.
Marina went on a 2 day trip with me to Valaam Island in a large lake just north of St. Petersburg. I stayed with her and her father for a week in St. Petersburg, and they took good care of me.  I never got a photo of her father though.
I'm the cyclist but Marina was the one with the wrinkled dress.
This is the better looking church in St. Petersburg I mentioned when I talked about St. Basils.  This one is quite nicely restored both inside and out.
I never got a decent photo of Richard and Deborah, so they sent me this one from Krakow.

Photo courtesy Richard & Deborah