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"Not another museum, mom"

Just when the boys thought we could simply not visit another museum, we woke up on day four and told them we would be visiting the Hermitage. Like many museums around the world it is closed on Mondays and we therefore suffered the consequences of going there on a Tuesday. Though if you continue reading you will find the crowds were even worse when we walked past on Thursday.

After we made our way through the maze of tour buses, we found ourselves on palace square. Guillaume had already given the boys a history lesson in the Uber on the way over. Some facts of which they absorbed and others they got a little confused...

The Hermitage, the largest and oldest museum in the world was founded in 1754 by Catherine the Great, but has only been open to the public since 1852. Its collections, of which only a small part is on permanent display, comprise over two and a half million items, including the largest collection of paintings in the world. It would be impossible to see everything in one day, especially if you factor in having to find a way through the throngs of noisy tour groups (all following a guide armed with a flag) and keeping two energetic little boys in tow. You can see the result of our not-so-shabby attempt in pictures below...

After miles of walking through the endless corridors of the gorgeous Hermitage palaces (yes, there is more than one), we thought we would end the day enjoying typical Russian cuisine. When we could not find the restaurant of our choice (it had moved), we happened upon a restaurant called 'Schastye', meaning 'happiness'. The atmosphere was warm and cozy, and the continental fusion food divine, even Max gave it the thumbs up...

We left at around 9pm, just in time to catch the last bit of light...

When we walked past the Hermitage two days later, we saw the snaking queues and were told the first Thursday of the month, entry is free...

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