We spent two weeks in St. Petersburg Russia this past August. We got the idea from an (obviously) very well written travel article. Arranging the trip was, at some points, painful, but in the end everything worked out. We stayed at the Holiday Hostel for all but two of the nights, which we spent going to Valaam. The staff at the hostel provided us with perfect visa support service, no hassles.
St. Petersburg challenges every impression you have about Russia. It ranks among one of the most beautiful and enchanting European cities. The wide Neva River meanders through the city, providing stunning vistas of elegant buildings, peaceful canals and wide avenues. Created by Peter the Great, it was built with 18th and 19th century European grandeur, mainly by European architects.
The onion domes of Moscow seem almost passé here, where even the colour of the city’s buildings: the green and gold of the Winter Palace, the red beside the Anichkov bridge, the blue of Smolny Cathedral, reflect the style of the courts of England rather than the Kremlin. The buildings’ playful Baroque facades show the incredible opulence of tsarist Russia.
The spirit of reform is so alive here you can taste it; small Russian-owned business are popping up everywhere, Western businesses are following suit, and even the city has got in on the action by accepting corporate sponsorship of street signs! St. Petersburg is chock-full of history: from here two centuries of autocratic tsars rules Russia with the splendour and stubbornness that led to their downfall.
We have many memories and stories of our trip. The pictures below each link to a story of our trip, and a larger version of the photo. Try it, click on your favorite image.