A Whimsical 48 Hours In St. Petersburg Part 2

June 18, 2009 by Anil Polat  

One of the potential topics to post on your blog when you haven’t traveled in forever is an imaginary trip to a place you haven’t been yet. Priyank from Final Transit and I decided to exchange travelogues to two cities we haven’t been to, but the other has, and compare our perceptions and expectations with reality. You can read about his second day in Manila and later this month he’ll dissect my trip to St. Petersburg. Here is Part 1 of my imaginary trip.

vitebsky railway station at night

After a disappointing day hanging out at the local museums and historical sights such as the Russian Academy of Arts, I decided to head back to the airport to catch some rest. At one time Russia was a cheap vacation destination but the high cost of everything makes Russia one of the former best places to travel on a weak dollar. Pulkovo airport was no different, not to mention fairly small so there was quite a bit of foot traffic around making it a bit harder to sleep.

autumn morning in st. petersburg russia

The next morning, my last in the city, I visited St. Issac’s Cathedral, the largest in St. Petersburg and simply a remarkable piece of architecture. I am often fascinated and inspired by the level of detail and dedication people put into religious structures like the cathedral which reminded me of Akshardham Temple in New Delhi.

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st. issac's cathedral interior

The city was beginning to open up – or at least my eyes were. St. Petersburg is a city that you’ll find a lot to do by yourself, it’s full of places to see, parks, and cafes. It’s best to take the city in slowly and that’s what I found even though I had such limited time there. Before I left though, I had to get a good taste of the city.

the idiot restaurant in st. petersburg russia

The Idiot Restaurant is a lively place that serves good vegetarian food at a reasonable price (reasonable for St. Petersburg, that is). The atmosphere is active and there the restaurant is filled with tourists and pepper flavored vodka.

What I’m Missing

While my imaginary trip to St. Petersburg ended as it was getting better, I don’t feel like I really was able to capture the essence of the city. Perhaps it’s the cold and a bit caused by being unfamiliar with it but I wasn’t able to crack the lifeblood of St Petersburg in my 48 hours.

Priyank will help shed some light on this next week, but my imaginary trip certainly warrents a trip back, both imaginary and real.

[photos by: Oleg Mirabo (first two pictures), Honza Soukup, pmorgan]

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  1. Too cute. I love how you said you slept in the airport.

  2. jen laceda says:

    Hey, I read Priyank’s take on Manila. Pretty cool. It’s as if he was really there. Have you been to Manila?

    I am also dreaming of St. Pete’s (Russia, not Florida–haha). I heard Russia is so expensive now. Moscow was even in the Top 10 most expensive cities in the world! Yikes!

    • Anil P. says:

      Yes, I went to Manila about 2 (or 3 now) years ago. I loved the Philippines, I can’t say enough good things about it and I didn’t even get to scratch the surface.

      You’re right, Moscow is one of the top 10 but would really like to visit. I’d also really like to visit eastern Russia. Perhaps on motorcycle one day.

  3. jen laceda says:

    I need to take an imaginary trip myself!!! I know I just came back from our May family vacation, but I’m getting antsy to travel once again! It feels like forever since I’ve travelled! I’m on a travel hiatus at the moment (because of our messy 22-month-long ongoing home reno) and we are terribly broke! I hate my life right now! 🙂 But you’re right, we can all travel vicariously through our friends and blog community!

    I’m from Manila, so I’ll check out Final Transit’s blog to see what he’s up to!

    • Anil P. says:

      I get that way if I’m not going somewhere new at least once a month. It’s been a few weeks for me too now and I’m ready for another trip!

      This imaginary post series was really fun and when it helped my reminisce and relive my trip to Manila.