St Petersburg – “Beauty built on bones, classical facades that cradled revolution, summers that lie in the cup of winter” (Helen Dunmore, The Siege). I read this as a 16 year old, quickly scribbled the quote in the back of my history folder promising myself that I would go. It’s been a long wait… But on first impressions, it has not disappointed…..
The air is filled with the biting texture of a Russian Winter. Everything is covered in a shroud of snow. The Neva has turned to ice, it’s murky shallows snatching at the sun. It’s 2pm and it’s already dark; the city is a melancholy dream for the most devoted miserabilist. It is bitterly cold. My body feels anesthetized.  If you were to cut off my bumcheek, I’m sure I wouldn’t feel it.  It’s minus 10 and an arctic hush has descended on the broad proskpekts.
The street jostles with archetypal Soviet babushkas. They wear fur hats and sport formidable bosoms straining against bright wooly jumpers.


The Frozen Neva

 

When in Russia…



Onion Domes



St Petersburg is a masterpiece of water and baroque. A city built on an inhospitable marshy wasteland by Peter the Greatas a window to Europe.  Whereas other European capitals were erected over centuries, St Petersburg was built in just 50 years according to strict principles. Erected as a monument to European grandeur upon the Finnish swamplands by conscripted workers who perished in their hundreds of thousands; Peter’s antidote to the dark murky streets of old Muscovy ruled by orthodoxy and occultism.

Winter has cast a gauzy spell over the vast confection coloured buildings, their colourful Italian pulse subdued in the blue Nordic light. It is the only season when their austere Soviet cousins can issue a sigh of relief for they are not eclipsed by these immense rococo jelly-hued palaces, which sit sheepishly in the snow.

I’ve barely been here 5 minutes but am already in love with the place. There’s a conspicuous duality to it which fascinates me. Imperial Russia and Communism…The mint green Winter Palace birthplace of the Red Revolution… Spirituality and science. Sunless winters and nightless summers. 




Just a tad Chernobyl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dad – Keeping Warm

 





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18 comments

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Your prose continues to amaze me……this post was so so excellent.

xo
Nicole

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your dad has good hair.

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St. Petersburg looks amazing! Being there in winter must be sort of a surreal experience! Russia is a country that has amazed me for quite a while now and I hope to get to visit one day…
xx Melanie

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Love your shots. There’s so much story in them, telling everyone how good of a place St. Petersburg is.

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Yes, Russian winters – like all winters – are beautiful to look at. But it is also harsh and it is hard to enjoy your travels with all the snow.

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I’ve never been to Russia amd too afraid to go there. It seems like because of you blog I would like to put Russia in my bucketlist. LOL

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St. Petersburg looks amazing.I want to go there someday.Thank you for taking us there and giving us a glimpse of beauty in Russia.

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I am planning to go to Russia but I haven’t decided what pace will I exactly visit until I saw this post. I am fascinated with the looks of St. Petersburg. I have added this on my list and will definitely visit this place. Hoping to meet you there! Cheers!

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I have tried several magazine articles on St. Petersburg and they describe it generally as a lovely place. This is the birthplace of communism and a place many Russians are proud of. I love the pictures you used for the article. They were really illustrative.

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With just the pictures, I’m already in love with the place. Looks nice and more fun.

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As a fan of Russian literature, it is one of my dreams to visit St. Petersburg one day (although being from a tropical land kinda makes me nervous about the cold in there). Thank you for the unusual photos one could never get from a traditional travel guide. I think this city is beautiful, honoring the ones who gave their lives to make its existence possible.

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It feels like I’m reading a novel. I would want to visit St. Petersburg someday.

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Where is {Pittsburgh anyway? Germany? Either way seems like a good place not to mention really beautiful. Just look at that snow!!!

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St. Petersburg looks amazing! I wish I can go there in the near future. Thanks for this review!

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I love that place. It’s snowing and it looks very calming. I wish to go there someday.

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