This is a guest post from Priyank, a traveler who is preparing to explore the whole world some day. He keeps a detailed account of his travel stories, pictures and experiences on his blog: Final Transit. For the past 2 weeks, Priyank and I have exchanged imaginary posts about St. Petersburg and Manila. Catch up with day 1 in St. Petersburg if you haven’t already and head over to Final Transit to catch my guest post, Manila from perception to reality part 2.
After exploring the central street of St. Petersburg (Nevsky Prospect) on Day 1 (previous post), I spent the next day walking around the city trying to get a feel of the place and seeing various sights it had to offer. The weather was not the best, but the day was very enjoyable.
St. Petersburg’s deep Metro system
To get to the downtown, I took the Metro. St. Petersburg’s metro was built in 1955 and is one of the deepest metros in the world and also among the most elaborately decorated. I got off at the Admiralteyskaya subway station, 105 meters below the surface, and the escalator seemed to take forever to get to the surface. The city is well networked by subway, buses and trams and you don’t need a taxi to go visit touristic areas.
Cathedral of Peter and Paul
The Cathedral of Peter and Paul (golden) seen as a backdrop
Founded on the small ‘Hare’ island on the north bank of the Neva, the fortress of Peter and Paul. St. Petersburg was built in 1703 CE to protect the city during the Northern War. St. Petersburg has no skyscrapers and this is the tallest building (122.5m) in the city. If you are curious about Russian Orthodox Church services, this is a good place to go and I especially liked the musical chanting by priests.
Aurora, the symbol of the Russian revolution
After the Cathedral, I visited the warship Aurora, which is a symbol of the Communist Revolution. Aurora’s crew took part in the October revolution by firing a blank shot at the Winter Palace, which signaled the victory of the Red Army. The ship is preserved as a museum today, and one can get on board and feel its size and strength.
Rostral column with a figure representing Dnieper River
Kunstkamera, from the from Dvortsovy (Palace) Bridge
Church of the Savior on Blood
St. Petersburg literally glitters at night. The city does a great job of highlighting its decorative architecture, sometimes giving the impression that the whole city is a museum. The city has a great nightlife and an overall artsy feel. I found St. Petersburgers very friendly and relaxed, compared to Moscowites who seemed to be in a rush.
Then You Eat
After a long day its imperative to relax and enjoy some Russian food. I met some friends there and there were a variety of things to eat. After a couple of shots of Vodka, everything tastes even better. Adding anything to Vodka (lime juice, soda, etc.) is considered blasphemous. There is a specific way of drinking Vodka too, and it’s best to learn it in person rather than me describing it here. 🙂
You’ll thoroughly enjoy St. Petersburg despite its weather. I did!
About This Post
Over a month ago, Anil came up with this idea of ‘imaginary travel’ as part of which he wrote 2 posts about his imaginary trip to St. Petersburg and I wrote about Manila. We then followed this up my real experiences in St. Petersburg and his real experiences in Manila. It was interesting to see the perceptions and realities in a creative and fun manner. Thanks Anil!
Thank you Priyank, it wouldn’t have worked out as well as it did without your excellent writing and amazing pictures! -Anil
‘How to drink vodka like a Russian’ sounds like a blog post idea to me. I must be a vodka heretic, it mixes well with so many things!
Indeed, I was a heretic too. When I was poured some Vodka, I proceeded to ask for something to be added to it. Everyone at the table stopped talking and looked at me, probably with pity, LOL. 🙂
Wow! The pictures are amazing! St. Peterburg at night is just breathtaking. So colorful even at night.
Thanks Amy! Indeed, from a picture taking perspective, I found that St. Petersburg was better at night. The gloomy skies don’t matter as much. 🙂