Sparkling St Petersburg

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Although not overtly welcoming to tourists during the winter season, St Petersburg or “Piter” as its affectionately know by the locals (and previously known as Petrograd and Leningrad), has plenty on offer for avid sightseers such as myself!

Few of the descriptions at main attractions and museums are in English, but the architecture, alley ways and snow covered canals need little by way of explanation if you just enjoy strolling the streets for some new views (even in the biting cold!).

Highlights for me included:

The Church of the Survivor of the Spilled Blood
It appeared from nowhere, tucked behind a row of Georgian style terraces reminiscent of “Upstairs Downstairs”, the beauty of it against the blue sky was breath taking. Its intricate details and ornate carvings would blow anything on “Grand Designs” right out of the water”! Built in memory of Tsar Alexander II assassination it has a history all of its own, but was closed for refurbishment so can’t tell you too much more!!
 
The State Hermitage
This vast collection of extravagant buildings including the Palace Embankment, the Winter Palace and the Menshikov Palace, is home to an incredible collection of art and sculpture with famous painters such as Rembrant, Dali, Monet, Ruens and Leger – formerly the secret art collection of Catherine the Great, it is the largest museum in the world.

 

St Peter and St Paul’s Fortress
Also worth a visit. The whole city was built around this and was to protect it from attack (there’s a lot of that sort of thing!). The gold spires of the cathedral are impressive, but the windy walk across the Neva River to get there in -14 degrees is not for the faint hearted.
  
St Isaacs Cathedral
A trip up the 150 plus stairs to the top of the Colanade provides some amazing views across the whole city (and is excellent for tightening the buttocks!).
  
Nevsky Prospect
Is the main street in St Petersburg and well worth a stroll down to check out some shopping, cafes and a selection of eclectic headwear and fur combos.

“Piter” is a cultural city full of history, with a western take on art and fashion. There are emerging contemporary art options, as well as a thriving bar scene, but as a “foreigner” you will have to befriend someone in the know to find out the hottest places to go as we were turned away from a couple of places for not being Russian.

Despite the cold and a nasty old lady-style fall on the treacherous ice (that could have been an end to the trip before it had really began), I met some of the gang that I would soon be travelling with across Siberia and tagged along with a great bunch of guys for a fantastic three days. I’m really glad I saw St Petersburg in the winter, when the sun shines on the snow it sparkles and its truly beautiful. However, can imagine that in the summer with the canals in full flow it would be another city altogether and perhaps an option for a “mini break Bridge'”!

 

 

 

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2 responses to “Sparkling St Petersburg

  • Loz

    Great photos girly! I really like the look of St. P. You get that feeling that if you go back in the summer you would almost be visiting a completely different city. Hope China is treating you well. Very much looking forward to seeing some Chinese RVO exploits. Take care!
    Loz

  • Kirsty

    Amazing photos and pleased to hear beer buddies were secured for the first leg of your adventures! x

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