19 May, 2014
Saturday night was International Museum Day, a day (or rather night!) when museums in many European cities are open all night long, to show visitors the behind-the-scenes action and to display one-off exhibitions and performances. With 96 venues open across St Petersburg, there was a lot to choose from! We had planned our route using the museum planner online, bought our tickets from the first museum we found the day before, and were all set for a night out at the various exhibitions in the city. We started out at the Museum of the Defence and Siege of Leningrad, and spent a good hour and half there, looking around the museum inside and posing for photos in army vehicles and with weapons outside. They were also offering beer, which we gladly accepted! After enjoying a military experience, we decided to head to the Planetarium, near the zoo. Unfortunately, when we got there, the queue was snaking along the street, and was easily half a mile long at 1am! We decided that would be a waste of our time, so had to pass up on star-gazing, and instead went into the zoo, which was also participating. In hindsight, this wasn't the best plan, as all the animals were asleep! Only the turtles were still awake, so we watched them flapping about in the water for a bit, then strolled along, looking at sleepy animals including the polar bear! We also popped into Baltiisky Dom to see how the theatre operates behind the scenes, and then finished up outside the Planetarium again, chatting to people who were still waiting to get inside! Overall, the night was quite amazing and it was such an experience to see one-off exhibitions in museums at night time! The doors were open until 6am, but exhausted and exhilarated, we bowed out at 3am. We've included some pictures from the Museum of the Siege and Defence of Leningrad, as our photos from the zoo and the outside of the Planetarium were too dark to share!