The duality of St Petersburg and
Leningrad remains. They are not even on
Yes, I am a Muscovite, but this didn’t stop me from falling in love with St Petersburg. Traveling by night train is, in my opinion, the best way to get there, for you get the feeling of going back in time, as if planes and fast speed trains were not invented yet. The platform is lined with smartly dressed conductors in red caps and pristinely white gloves, all of them smiling but looking strict at the same time, their lips pursed in a straight line. You fall asleep to the rhythmical thump of the train wheels on the rails and before you know it, you’re already at your final destination: a few knocks on the door remind you to wake up. It is only eight in the morning and you plunge right into the rush hour. Crowds of people swarm into the metro, everybody trying to get to work quickly, the excited chatter and sleepy murmurs floating up into the air. It smells of sweat, stone and the underground and you can even catch small whiffs of strong perfume. You emerge from the deep subway into the light of the city. The buildings are tall, elegant, distinctive individuals with their own story: if you listen carefully and stand very still you might just be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the past…
There are many canals and the Neva river is never far away: you can feel its presence thanks to the cool breeze that gently lets the water ripple. You can easily walk from one end of to the city of the other, time flying by because you simply cannot keep your eyes off the surrounding architecture.
The insides of the buildings are just as striking as the buildings themselves! Ordinary museums have endless rooms, each one of them grand and impressive. There are so many paintings and sculptures I would be here all day if I was just to recite half of them…
If you don’t have enough of the myriad of galleries, you can always visit Peterhof or a church. Don’t moan when I say church. I am not usually fond of churches myself but two of them really caught my eye: St Isaac’s Cathedral and Church of the Saviour on Blood. St.Isaac’s cathedral is imperial and splendid, something fit for royalty. The Church of the Saviour on Blood is unbelievably attractive: a sweet from the outside and an explosion of tastes from the inside. Every inch of wall is lined with carefully aligned mosaics that make you gasp in awe: the colours shimmer in the light so exquisitely no photograph can do them any mercy. I tried my best to capture the moment but I’m afraid it’s simply impossible: you must see it for yourself 😉