It was May 1. Time for the labour day parades. The town centre was covered with all types of police to regulate the parade. We, however, had to walk on to be in front of the queue at the hermitage. We did not quite make the front of queue but still it took just over 30 minutes to get in. Which was good because it was windy, rainy and cold. Inside it was nice and warm and beautiful.

We only left at 17:00 so it shows that we did our best to see most of the palace rooms and painting exhibition. It looked like there were even more Rembrandts than in Amsterdam.

We just arrived at closing time at the Saviour Church but after a beer and an hour wait inside the Russian museum cafe, it reopened for a special labour day evening session. The inner structure, in contrast to the church in Pskov, was richly decorated with very fine detailed mosaic’s. The church structure was however similar with 4 large square pillars holding up a central dome.

After a shoarma wrap (served by a Kirkistani) we retreated to our camper in the hostel court yard. The hostel was full due to the holiday week. We got however a key card and can use the facilities. What strikes me is that there are hardly any overweight people on the street. Most of them look very healthy. I hope it stays that way.