Dear Blog Followers…..

I am in the process of transferring my blog to a new host – it is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning (Jan. 10) at 5 a.m. My apologies if you experience much downtime, but hopefully that will not be the case – should be done within a day or two! I look forward to bringing you more stories and images from Life in Russia as well as sharing my travels through parts of Russia and other former-Soviet countries! Also, if you have not yet, please check out the new Facebook page I created (finally!). I try to post photos and other things “Russia” there daily, as well as to Google+.

Cheers!

Lindsay

an old building on ulitsa Shvetsova, in the "Soviet" area of Saint Petersburg between metro stops Narvskaya and Avtovo.

an old building on ulitsa Shvetsova, in the “Soviet” area of Saint Petersburg between metro stops Narvskaya and Avtovo.

Russian white nights.

Troitskiy bridge.

The Russian winter is cold, dark, depressing and sometimes just downright brutal. Having arrived to Saint Petersburg at the end of January, 2011, my first taste of life in Russia was one of freezing cold temperatures, wet slippery streets and sidewalks, falling “killer” icicles (and ice flying off the roof tops), short days and very little sunshine. It’s no wonder that people from Saint Petersburg break out their bathing suits at the first sight of spring and go sunbathing at the beach by Peter and Paul fortress – snow still on the ground or not.

But then comes the longer days in April and May, and eventually comes the white nights in June, and it’s as if winter really wasn’t such a big deal. One goes from wanting to sleep all the time in winter to not being able to sleep at all in summer – from 11 a.m. sunrise and 4 p.m. sunset in winter to a 4 a.m. sunrise and 1 a.m. “sunset” in summer, which is more like a period of twilight. I remember talking to my landlady’s daughter as the white nights were approaching and she said, during white nights there is no place she would rather be than Saint Petersburg. It really is a magical time – people seem to come out of the woodwork and be out and about until all hours of the night. And then in June is the celebration of “Алые Паруса” – or Scarlett Sails, as shown in this older post of mine.

This past summer, it was so wonderful to be back in Piter for the white nights – it was like being home. Granted, it did make sleep a bit difficult, but it was no matter of concern – just draw the curtains tight and pretend like it’s night!

These photos are from the white nights this past summer. It will give you an idea of how incredibly stellar Saint Petersburg is this time of year. Although I also love the Russian winter and being able to sleep 12 hours if I need, there really is nothing like the white nights. The city comes to life. See for yourself! And please note – I’m pretty sure all these photos were taken between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., just to give you an idea.

Nevskiy Prospekt.

Nevsky Prospekt.

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a boat on the Fontanka.

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this is not far from where I lived - brings back fond memories.

this is not far from where I lived – brings back fond memories.

an older man riding his bicycle.

an older man riding his bicycle.

an artist - all packed up.

an artist – all packed up.

the circus building.

a young woman riding her bicycle.

a young woman riding her bicycle.

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some people fishing along the Fontanka.

some people fishing along the Fontanka.

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Belinskogo ulitsa (street).

Belinskogo ulitsa (street).

young woman on a scooter.

young woman on a scooter.

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an old lada on Liteynyy Prospekt.

an old lada on Liteynyy Prospekt.

Nekrasova ulitsa - very close to where I lived.

Nekrasova ulitsa – very close to where I lived.

Lebyazhya Kanavka around 2 a.m.

Lebyazhya Kanavka around 2 a.m.

Troitskiy Moct (Bridge) is up!

Troitskiy Moct (Bridge) is up!

an artist painting by Troitskiy bridge.

a young man painting by Troitskiy bridge.

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Troitskiy bridge.

a boat passing through the Troitskiy bridge.

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Dvortsovaya (palace) embankment.

Dvortsovaya (palace) embankment.

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas to all! Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Dear Blog Followers,

I would like to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry (and Happy) Christmas! Thank you all for taking the time to read my thoughts and experiences and to see my photos of Russia and other former Soviet countries! Please stay tuned for new posts (very soon) and in the coming weeks, I will be expanding the blog to bring new tales of Russia and former Soviet countries :) You all rock and I wish you the very best, this season and always!

Cheers!

Lindsay Comer

Merry Christmas to all! - Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

Merry Christmas to all! Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2011.

the New Year tree in the center of Murmansk, Russia, just after Christmas; this photo was taken at 11:30 a.m.

Murmansk, just after Christmas, 2011; this photo was taken at 11:30 a.m.

Red Square, Moscow, Russia; snowing in Red Square, just after New Year, 2012.

Red Square, Moscow, Russia; snowing in Red Square, just after New Year, 2012.

a day at Peterhof.

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Considering I’ve never actually dedicated a post to Peterhof, and also considering there was a blog reader who asked me about it recently, I decided it was high time I do a brief write-up and photo gallery from a day at Peterhof.

This past June when I was back in Saint Petersburg for a visit, I decided to go back to Peterhof for a day. I had been there two years previously, but the weather had not been as nice as this past June and I wanted to go get some photos of the park.

The park at Peterhof is famous for it’s Grand Palace and many fountains. Seriously – this place has a lot of fountains and the park is quite extensive. One of the things I love about some of the large parks surrounding the palaces outside of Petersburg is that you can seemingly walk forever in them and have a relaxing day in nature. One of the perks of the park at Peterhof is that it’s right on the Baltic Sea. In summertime, the park comes to life with tourists and locals alike.

I decided to take the Elektrichka (local train) to Peterhof and walk from the train station into town. You can also get there via Marshrutka (which is like a shared taxi or mini-bus), but it takes a bit longer. The park has an upper garden and a lower garden. The upper garden is free of charge and really quite lovely and peaceful. The lower park (where everyone goes to see the fountains), requires paid entry and is well worth it. You can take a picnic and make an entire day of it.

I won’t go much into detail, as I have many photos highlighting how lovely the park is (and I was also camera spying on lots of people there!) But I do want to provide this website for further information about the park and how to get there, in case you happen to be visiting St. Petersburg. Also, there are a few small fast food joints on the premise, so if you don’t want to bother bringing a lunch, there are other options.

Sometime in the future, I want to go back to the park at Peterhof in winter and photograph everything there in the snow……..

a man waiting on a train platform (while on my way to Peterhof).

a man waiting on a train platform (while on my way to Peterhof).

train platform - Novyy Petergof (New Peterhof).

train platform – Novyy Petergof (New Peterhof).

a woman with her son - approaching the center of town, Peterhof.

a woman with her son – approaching the center of town, Peterhof.

Russian cyrillic spelling of "Country Chicken".

Russian cyrillic spelling of “Country Chicken”.

the center of town - Peterhof.

the center of town – Peterhof.

two women tending the flower beds in Peterhof park.

two women tending the flower beds in Peterhof park.

in the upper park - Peterhof.

in the upper park – Peterhof.

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the woman with her umbrella.

the woman with her umbrella.

the upper park, Peterhof.

the upper park, Peterhof.

a little boy happily playing with the ducks in the fountain pool.

a little boy happily playing with the ducks in the fountain pool.

a young woman with her children in the lower park.

a young woman with her children in the lower park.

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a mother and daughter getting a photo taken with the people in costume.

a mother and daughter getting a photo taken with the people in costume.

the Grand palace and many fountains.

the Grand palace and many fountains.

a little girl sitting near a fountain.

a little girl sitting near a fountain.

the statue of Eve.

the statue of Eve.

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The Marli Palace.

The Marli Palace.

a bride and his groom.

a bride and his groom.

the circle trees along the hillside - one of my favorite images at Peterhof.

the circle trees along the hillside – one of my favorite images at Peterhof.

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The Marli Palace.

The Marli Palace.

the pool in front of the Marli Palace.

the pool in front of the Marli Palace.

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stairway on the hill.

stairway on the hill.

I love this view of the trees on the hillside with the brick wall below.

I love this view of the trees on the hillside with the brick wall below.

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a little boy in his stroller.

a little boy in his stroller.

the Hermitage Pavilion.

the Hermitage Pavilion.

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by far my favorite picture from Peterhof - the couple walking next to an iconic old Lada.

by far my favorite picture from Peterhof – the couple walking next to an iconic old Lada.

a couple embracing in the Baltic Sea.

a couple embracing in the Baltic Sea.

the little girl in her pink polka-dot dress and bonnet.

the little girl in her pink polka-dot dress and bonnet.

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all dolled up.

all dolled up.

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the Grand palace.

the Grand palace.

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more views of the Grand Palace.

more views of the Grand Palace.

newlyweds posing for a photo.

newlyweds posing for a photo.

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another statue and fountain.

another statue and fountain.

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among the dandelions.

among the dandelions.

peaceful Peterhof.

peaceful Peterhof.

fountain - in the middle of the maze.

fountain – in the middle of the maze.

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a little girl playing under a fountain.

a little girl playing under a fountain.

children playing near a fountain.

children playing near a fountain.

trying not to get wet!

trying not to get wet!

a little girl getting soaked playing near the water-squirting rose garden.

a little girl getting soaked playing near the water-squirting rose garden.

another palace (not sure of the name of this one).

another palace (not sure of the name of this one).

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The entrance to the lower gardens.

The entrance to the lower gardens.

the Church at the Grand Palace.

the Church at the Grand Palace.

the center of town, Peterhof.

the center of town, Peterhof.

the little elderly couple eating their ice cream cones on the train ride home :)

the little elderly couple eating their ice cream cones on the train ride home :)

Russian communal banya…..

Russian Banya (Bathhouse/Spa).

I was once told that the point of Russian Banya: to achieve true rejuvenation one must experience near fatality. For those of you out there who have ever taken part in a traditional Russian banya, you know what I am talking about…..

My first banya (what we call sauna) experience was many years ago on my first trip to Russia. I was staying at the home of our exchange student and they had a banya in their house. Strangely enough, I never went to the banya the whole year I lived in Saint Petersburg as a student and I regret that now because I discovered a little gem this past June when I was revisiting my favorite city.

For those of you ladies who may be traveling to Saint Petersburg in the near future and want a unique experience that dates back to the era of the Tsars, I give you communal banya! I discovered the Sputnik website last year in December and was happy to find a welcoming list of activities for tourists who want to discover things in Russian cities that are off the beaten path….. one of the excursions was to a communal banya, which immediately sparked my interest. So when we planned our trip to Saint Petersburg for June, I contacted Sasha (Alexandra) and arranged a time to go to the sauna with her.

Russian banya is a longstanding tradition and part of Russian culture. It is a means of socializing with others while enjoying the health benefits associated with banya. Women go to banya with other women and men with men – you can, of course, reserve a private banya for a party or family event, but traditionally it is separated. Sasha told me that she couldn’t understand the Russian male tradition of going to banya and drinking vodka because it seemed a bit counterproductive – not to mention the rise in blood pressure that takes place from the steam room alone. I couldn’t understand the concept of drinking tea (Russians love tea) after a round of banya because you sweat so much in the steam room that all I wanted was water water and more water!

Communal banya differs from private Russian banya in that it is a communal activity with people you don’t know (or perhaps you bring your friends if you want to socialize). Women have their own communal banyas and the men have theirs. Sasha, my wonderful hostess and Saint Petersburg local, discovered communal banya awhile back and became interested in finding all of the communal banyas in Saint Petersburg – there still remains a few. It is not as common as private banya, but it is very inexpensive and was originally created as a means for people to bathe and keep good hygiene during Tsarist times when water was not available in every home. The tradition has continued on and now it offers a very inexpensive way for one to enjoy the health and hygiene benefits of banya without the higher costs of private sauna.

Here’s how communal banya works. The cost is about 150 to 250 rubles (between $4 – $8, depending on the Ruble to dollar value) to enter the sauna and then you will need to purchase your own venik – traditionally they are birch or oak branches used for “massage” in the banya. If you sign up for the tour with Sasha (which I would recommend for any newbie), the venik are included in the price you pay her and then you just need to pay for your entrance. You will need a towel and flip flops (the Russians call them Vietnamki), shampoo, conditioner and soap, and any other toiletries you like to use post bathing. Leave your bathing suits at home, ladies – communal banya is in the nude and there is no shame in that bath house!

You have an hour and a half to be in the banya and once you are in your towel and sauna hat (provided by Sasha), the magic begins. I should add a note of warning: Russian banya is not for the faint of heart – seriously. It starts off easy and progresses to a level of sweat and tears. You go into a large concrete bath room full of stone benches and buckets for the venik. First, you must begin soaking the venik and then you go “relax” in the steam room for a bit (it’s a “dry” heat sauna). There are two sections of the communal sauna room – one is hot but bearable, the other takes your breath away. We began in the bearable half of the sauna and I immediately started sweating – I never cease to be amazed how Russian females rarely sweat when exposed to heat, considering they endure such cold winters….. must be all that dill. Anyhow, after a few minutes of intense dry heat, we left the steam room and went to the pool. The pool is essentially a large tub with a ladder – you climb up and jump into ice cold water to cool yourself off after steaming in the sauna. Then things step up a notch. Next round, you take your venik and go into the sauna, throw some water in the stove and proceed to sit in what feels like a really really hot oven – it’s painful and it stings. I had to cover my face so I could breathe. In the oven, you lie down on one of the benches and beat the other person with the water soaked venik – it feels really really wonderful and excruciatingly unpleasant at the same time. What can I say? Russia is full of paradoxes and banya is no acception.

Sasha was very kind to me – she noticed I was on the verge of passing out after only a few minutes and asked me if I needed a break. Yup! Back into the coolness of the water pool – that beautiful respite where your body revives itself from a point near death! After the extreme heat, a water break was in order. There was no tea drinking for me, just cold hydrating water! Following the water break, we repeated the said process for the next hour, only we didn’t go back to that friendly side of the sauna. We enjoyed regular water breaks and talked about Russian banya and language. There were not too many people in the banya, as it was summer time and communal banya is not as popular in the summer months as in the winter months. At the end of the oven-roasting-cold-water-jumping symphony, you take a shower and tidy up. And that is the Russian communal banya. A place where you check all shame at the doorstep and learn how to sweat like the best of them. It was funny – there was this young girl in the banya with her babushka and she kept showing us her arm muscles….. yeah, she was a tough one to bear with that heat at such a young age!

The whole process of Russian banya leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for a nap! It was such a great cultural experience and well worth every penny. Had I known about communal banya when I was living in Saint Petersburg, I would have gone regularly. If you are looking for a means of engaging with a local and seeing what real Russians do, I highly recommend this little excursion with Sasha – she was a great hostess and made the whole process very easy for me. A word of advice if you do decide to participate in Russian banya, whether communal or private – know your limits! It’s not uncommon for people to pass out in the heat of the sauna, so when your feeling like you just can’t take it any more, that’s probably a good time to beat the heat and jump into that mini pool….. Na zdorov’ye! (to your health!)

For a great Soviet movie featuring the banya: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073179/

Russian Banya (Bathhouse/Spa).

a Russian Banya in a small village outside of Petersburg. (Bathhouse/Spa).

the orphanage in Pavlovsk…..

When I first moved to Russia in 2011 during the depths of winter, it became incredibly apparent to me that life in Russia is not for the faint of heart. Perhaps it is because I arrived at the end of January when there were twelve foot snow piles and twelve inches of ice covering the sidewalks; killer icicles hung from the buildings, bitter cold temperatures pierced through every layer of clothing, and dark overcast days seemed in abundance. There were days when I would wake up ready for a warm shower only to find that the hot water was off, again, and it was -30°C outside. Over time, you begin to see how incredibly difficult life can be for many Russian people and it is not uncommon for one’s skin to thicken in response. Russian people are very tough and if you do not toughen up yourself while living there, it is not always easy to get by.

While I consider thickening of the skin a good thing at times, it can also have it’s negative aspects as well. For instance, in winter time, it is not uncommon to see homeless or severely drunken people lying on the sidewalks and, as a foreigner, not knowing if there was something you should do about it. And there are numerous veterans of war wandering the streets asking for money, many of them missing arms and legs and rolling around on little roller boards (even on the metro), and you just wonder how they manage to get by on peoples’ loose change. After time, it is not uncommon to feel a bit jaded by the difficulties of daily life (especially in winter!), to the point where you can seriously lose any empathetic spirit you might have once possessed.

But for all the harshness one might see and find in Russia, the people are always willing to be generous, helpful and kind. If you don’t pay attention to these moments, you will truly miss out on a whole other aspect of the Russian people. For all the cold faces you will come across, for all the hardship and suspicion, you will also find a large number of people who light up at the littlest things, like a sunny day and a bouquet of flowers. And for all the melancholy hours, days and months of winter, the summer is full of joy and life!

This being said, on our recent trip to Saint Petersburg we were invited by a Russian friend to visit an orphanage for handicapped and developmentally disabled children in Pavlovsk, Russia. Not far from one of the pristine palace parks outside of Saint Petersburg is a childrens’ home for about 300 – 400 orphaned children with developmental and physical disabilities. I must confess, it was not an easy visit, but I’m very glad we ventured out – in fact, it is one of the highlights for me of our recent trip, because it was very interesting to observe. I genuinely thank our friend for asking us to join her! Bolshoe spacibo ;)!

The orphanage was yet another reminder of how Russia is a land primarily for the capable….. it doesn’t take one long to notice the lack of public access for handicapped people in Russian cities (and from what I gather, this is common in many post-Soviet states); in fact, in 2011 handicapped people were actually banned from using the metro in Saint Petersburg altogether, and it’s the second largest city in Russia! It is a rare occasion when I have actually seen a developmentally or physically disabled person out in public and every time I have, my heart always felt heavy, imagining how difficult it must be for them to survive in Russian society.

Seeing the orphanage was another reality check. My husband and I were actually relieved to find better facilities than we were expecting, but seeing the existence of many of the children was heart-wrenching. While the facilities were quite clean and in good condition for old buildings, the smell walking into the orphanage was similar to that of walking into a nursing home in the U.S. – the kind that gives you a sense that life inside is declining. When we went to see the upstairs rooms of the orphanage, we found large rooms filled with numerous cribs – lying in the cribs were some of the most developmentally handicapped children I have ever seen….. one of the volunteers there spoke to me in English, as we stood by a little girl trying to make her smile, and she said that they can feel things like we do, but they do not know how to communicate their feelings to us. In another corner of the same room was a boy who appeared to be in his early teens – he was lying in a crib playing with a tambourine and he was wearing a diaper.

In order to not get my facts misunderstood or lost in translation, I did read a couple of scholarly articles written about Children with disabilities in Russia. According to the authors, and in line with what the volunteers at the orphanage told me, many of the children end up at the orphanage because it is too difficult for families, both socially and economically, to raise these children in Russian society and the only seemingly viable option for many of them is to institutionalize them at some point, giving them up to the state. This was so different to me, because in the U.S. I am so accustomed to seeing children with disabilities able to survive within the family and be integrated into society. Many of them can even hold jobs and be contributing members once they reach adulthood. And we have handicap access everywhere in the U.S.. My husband regularly took pictures of the handicapped ramps on his first visit to Russia because he couldn’t believe they could ever serve any viable purpose (although we did see someone pushing a stroller up one once…..)

One of the volunteers at the orphanage asked me about the United States – did we have “Detskiye doma” (children’s homes) there and what was it like for orphans. Not knowing much of the terminology in Russian, I tried to explain to her our system of foster care – how children will often live with one family (or a series of families), with the end goal being eventual adoption. But in Russia, it is a bit different. Many of these children will spend their adolescence in institutional care lacking the special attention that might help them develop and become integral members of a community. And many of them will not live to be adults. Another volunteer told me that, on average, one child in the orphanage dies every month. There was one “little” guy there who looked no older than a four year old – but it turns out he is eighteen and is suppose to be moved to the adult home because he is “technically” deemed an adult….. however, there may not be enough proper care and attention for him there, with only two nurses on staff for the seventy adults residing in the home.

My purpose in writing this post, however, is really to give everyone who follows my blog (and any new readers) a glimpse into the lives of some of Russia’s unseen people. I had trouble taking photographs at first – I didn’t want to feel like I was making a spectacle out of these children and adults. But my friend reassured me that it was okay (and there were others at the day’s event taking photos) and now I am so thankful to have these images – both as a memory for myself and so that I may share them with others. And I do have to say that I was wowed by the number of volunteers who regularly come to take these children out for walks on the weekend – one of the few chances these children have to socially interact with outsiders and get some fresh air (for those children who are healthy enough to go out in the open air, that is). Additionally, the day we visited the orphanage was a very special day which happens once per year – the children and adults (from a nearby home for adults with developmental and physical disabilities) are given a summer party of sorts, with many fun activities and a live band. It was truly heartwarming to see – the faces of both adults and children were lit up as they were given such personal attention from so many volunteers! Even entire families came out with their children (and dogs) to participate in the festivities!

That being said, here are some of the children we saw at the orphanage  and summer event in Pavlovsk that day. I’m so sorry – I only remember one child’s name, as I am terrible with names and even more so when not in my native language! Vova (which is short for Vladimir)- I have one picture of him in here :)

Resources:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/4065169?uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102423156311

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3347014?uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102423156311

inside the orphanage. the cribs where many children spend a good part of their days.

inside the orphanage. the cribs where many children spend a good part of their days.

this photo is so hard for me to look at. but I did take it right before I got this girl to give me a good smile.

this photo is so hard for me to look at for many reasons. but I did take it right before I got this girl to give me a really good smile!

this little man is actually eighteen years old. technically old enough for the adult home, but he requires more care than they can likely give him there.

this little man is actually eighteen years old. technically old enough for the adult home, but he requires more care than they can likely give him there.

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one of the female volunteers and a man from the adult home - he was so full of life!

one of the female volunteers and a man from the adult home – he was so full of life!

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this guy was happily dancing to the band's music.

this guy was happily dancing to the band’s music.

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making pizza, but trying to eat the ingredients first ;)

making pizza, but trying to eat the ingredients first ;)

happy moment with a volunteer.

happy moment with a volunteer.

making pizzas.

making pizzas.

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this is Vova! I remembered his name because I asked his volunteer and so it stuck with me :)

this is Vova! I remembered his name because I asked the volunteer he was with, and so it stuck with me :)

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this guy gave me a real good smile when he saw me taking his photo!

this guy purposely gave me a real good smile when he saw me taking his photo!

this little girl LOVED this dog! I think she followed him around for the better part of an hour!

this little girl LOVED this dog! I think she followed him around for the better part of an hour!

what a good dog!

what a good dog!

she loved that doggy!

the doggie made her super happy!

playing dress up.

playing dress up.

another great smile!

another great smile!

learning how to juggle :)

learning how to juggle :)

this photo makes my heart so happy! playing dress up :)

this photo makes my heart so happy!

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two volunteers with three of the children!

volunteers and children!

back in Saint Petersburg…..

Dear Saint Petersburg,

We are united at last! I find you both overwhelming and endearing….. a chapter of my life never forgotten, but seemingly still unfinished. I drift swiftly down your streets, feeling very much at home – and yet, utterly confused by how you have changed while I’ve been away……

one of the babushkas on Vladimirskiy Prospekt.

one of the babushkas on Vladimirskiy Prospekt.

One week ago today I arrived in Saint Petersburg and have spent the past week reuniting with friends and the city which I love so much. The days and nights are a blur as the white nights approach – and there is always the opportunity to retreat to the countryside where one may find silence, solitude, nature and mosquitoes. Yes, I forgot about the mosquitoes – they are seemingly everywhere and on the prowl! Women here continue to waltz down the street in high heels with ease, bikes have taken to the streets – defying the crazy rush of Ladas, Mercedes and BMW’s – and fruit stands and babushkas selling flowers can be found in abundance. It is summer – glorious summer! – when the people can put behind the depressive winter months and be warmed by long sunny days and seemingly sleepless nights.

Without further ado, here is my first blog post upon returning to Russia – a snippet of my time here….. the calm before my husband arrives and our traveling storm begins next week! I give you a bit of Saint Petersburg in summer.

my welcome back gift to myself - tulips from one of the babushkas at Ploshchad Vosstaniya.

my welcome back gift to myself – tulips from one of the babushkas at Ploshchad Vosstaniya.

a man sketching in the Summer Garden.

a man sketching in the Summer Garden.

alley to a dvor, in city center.

alley to a dvor, in city center.

the alley cats.

the alley cats.

women "tending" the grass in the Summer Garden.

women “tending” to the grass in the Summer Garden.

an ambulance of sorts.

a medical service vehicle of sorts.

garden decorations, Summer Garden.

garden decorations, Summer Garden.

mirror art - the sad face.

mirror art – reflections of the sad face.

window inside a dvor.

window inside a dvor.

at Pavlovsk park - the palace.

at Pavlovsk park – the palace.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

the palace at Pavlovsk.

the palace at Pavlovsk.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

babushka walking through Pavlovsk Park.

babushka walking through Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

the little girl feeding the squirrel at Pavlovsk Park.

the little girl feeding the squirrel at Pavlovsk Park.

the squirrel at Pavlovsk Park.

the squirrel at Pavlovsk Park.

the woman painting at Pavlovsk Park.

the woman painting at Pavlovsk Park.

the woman painting at Pavlovsk Park.

the woman painting at Pavlovsk Park.

the little girl having her photo taken in front of a statue at Pavlovsk Park.

the little girl having her photo taken in front of a statue at Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

bicycling in Pavlovsk Park.

riding through Pavlovsk Park.

feeding the birds, Pavlovsk Park.

feeding the birds, Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

Pavlovsk Park.

the woman selling flowers on Vladimirskiy Prospekt.

the woman selling radishes and flowers on Vladimirskiy Prospekt.

window decoration, city center.

window decoration, city center.

parking propaganda sign. "Are you parked correctly?"

parking propaganda sign. “Are you parked correctly?”

the common produkti - on ulitsa Gorokhovaya.

the common produkti – on ulitsa Gorokhovaya.

scooter in a dvor off ulitsa Gorokhovaya.

scooter in a dvor off ulitsa Gorokhovaya.

on ulitsa Gorokhovaya

on ulitsa Gorokhovaya