Twelve Wild Hours In St. Petersburg

It’s good to be czar.

I certainly felt like one when my chauffeur-driven Nissan sped through the gate at Russia’s massive Catherine Palace outside St. Petersburg, zooming past hordes of tourists trudging from their buses a mile away. Ours was the only car in sight as we zipped up the vast, empty courtyard, pulling to a stop just a few steps from a side entrance, where a VIP greeter came out to meet us.

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