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

18 thoughts on “back in Saint Petersburg…..

  1. I love the statue of the centaur in Pavlovsk Park. I’m reading Narnia at the moment and remembering how I really wanted to be a centaur when I was a kid! I also love the photo with the ladies, who’s job is to take care of the grass.

  2. I love your photography Lindsay- you capture those charming nuances of Russia that are impossible to explain with words. My favorite was the shot through the alleyway of the cat and the Lada- so quintessentially Russian! Looking at your pictures makes me even more eager to get back over there πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Hope πŸ™‚ I’m so happy to be back here – wish it wouldn’t end! Going to see Luba next week, actually! Have you found out where you will be living yet? I’m very excited for you!

  3. I love how babushkas are so cute! πŸ˜€
    Pretty good pictures, they capture a good life in Russia… Love them! Lucky you, that you’re in Russia πŸ˜‰
    One day I’ll go to Russia! πŸ˜„

  4. what eye openers your pictures are – they are beautiful but also they show me a little part of a country i have never visited but am intrigued by. you take great candid shots – really enjoyed them.

  5. I spent three months in St Pete and I can’t get it out of my head! The scenery was breathtaking no matter what the weather was like. I can’t wait to go back! I love the city’s secret culture that only reveals itself to you when you become a “local” and do as the Russians do and your pictures give some insight to that!

  6. Glad to have stumbled across your blog. I plan to visit Russia next year so I will backtrack on your posts and learn about it! Your writing and photos are very lovely.

  7. All photos are beautiful and inspiring. My favorite is the woman painting at Pavlovsk Park. I so love nature. Beautiful parks and gardens. Seeing all your photos makes me so excited for our trip there in August. Spasibo! πŸ™‚

  8. Saint Petersburg is one of my favourite city in Russia. Time i spent in this city is a everlasting memory in my life. And the pics you have clicked are really awesome clicks.

  9. It used to be a great city, whether Leningrad or St. Petersburg. However, it seems it’s more run down than it was 20 years ago. I’ve been just a couple of times in Russia, but I obviously know everything about “pre-and post- soviet spaces” (sounds a bit discriminating since it was nobody’s desire to be included in the USSR); I’m originally from Latvia.
    Well, there’s is still poverty and no social benefits for many people in post-socialism countries, and not because these people were bad tax payers. Governments come and go, and nothing improves.
    When I look at these poor old women (in Russian: grandmother: babushka), I cannot express how sorry I feel. Instead of being simply retired and living a normal old folks life, they still have to sit on the street and sell sometimes wild flowers (which all need to be picked in the forest or outside the town), sometimes garden flowers, whatever the whether: hot, rainy, cold, windy; because it’s the only income and bread for many of them. They have to do it as often as possible, feeling well or unwell, having pains or feeling hungry. If you happen to tour similar countries, please always give generously to these old, kind women who definitely deserve a better life after they are unable to work any longer. The same refers to street musicians and artists who are painting local scenes or doing portraits (there are plenty of talented people there), they are not standing out on the street because they have nothing else to do, the truth is they cannot afford very often the simplest and most basic food.

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