Located in the suburb of Pushkin, Catherine's Palace was built in 1752 for Czarina Elizabeth and named after her mother Catherine I. It is set in the most beautiful grounds.
In order to avoid the crowds - the palace is a very popular tourist destination - we arrived some 30 minutes before it opened. Behind the locked gates cleaners were washing the tarmac driveway! To keep us entertained,
we were serenaded by a professional brass band which had frequent commercial breaks for donations and to sell their CDs.
Music while we waited for the gates to open
On entering Catherine's Palace, we all had to put on "j-cloth" overshoes to protect the floor. The Palace was enormous and stunning. We were led through room after huge room, each ornately decorated in a different style.