Following our walking tour we headed for the Metro, finding ourselves at the newest and deepest station - Admiralteyskaya. Taking about seven minutes on the escalators to descend to the platform - the first escalator was 410 feet (125 metres) long - we planned to visit a number of station recommended for their particularly artistic decor. On reaching the platform, I was really quite amazed by the sight. There was a central platform area with what looked like a polished marble floor under a lit arched canopy ceiling. At the far end was a huge mosaic mural of an 18th century admiral. Either side were marble colonnades leading onto the main platform areas. Impressive, I thought, but better was to come.
|Avtovo Metro station|
Our first stop was Narvskaya where we got off the train to simply look around. Wow! The platforms were each lit by ornate chandeliers that would not have look out of place in a palatial dining room. Sculptures of miners, engineers, sailors sculptures, teachers and children adorned the platform columns. At Kirovskiy Zavod I was surprised to see a huge bust of Lenin - most were dismantled or destroyed following the fall of Communism. And at Avtovo were the most ornate, Babylonian style marble and cut-glass columns, plaster panelled ceilings and more decorative chandeliers. I imagine that many of the locals think nothing of it, seeing this day in and day out, but even though we were some distance underground it did all seem rather over the top.
|Looking up at the ceiling at the Church of the Spilled Blood|
On our way to find a bite to eat we passed a chap playing a rather unusual looking wooden instrument and singing in an equally unusual, but pleasantly serene voice. The instrument had a crank for winding, presumably for pumping air, and was played by plucking strings and pressing wooden keys. Fascinating. Deciding to avoid 'Killfish Burgers' we settled on pizza, a most traditional Russian dish, at restaurant called 'Italy', an equally Russian sounding name. Passing by 'Teaspoon', the pancake place at which we lunched yesterday, it was difficult not to stop and enjoy a pancake with berries before turning in for the night. So we didn't - not stop that is.