Russian white nights.

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.

 

17 thoughts on “Russian white nights.

  1. I think photos are ıncredible and your post changed my ideas about Russia.Before this post Russia means snowing and cold but now I want to visit there.Thanks

    • Yes – it’s great year round 🙂 Although, I’ve heard complaints from my friends there regarding the high temperatures and lack of snow – come February, it will likely be -30 C.

  2. Wow i didn’t knw the nights were tht short during summer! Ths just makes me more interested in visiting russia!

    • yes the nights are very short – especially in the Northern parts of Russia, like Saint Petersburg and Murmansk (which is next to the Northern regions of Finland). of course, the further South you travel in Russia, the shorter the days, but even Moscow has a long day in summer.

  3. it looks like a beautiful and amazing city, but yeah ive heard that the winters are terrible and brutal at its height. im part russian myself and hope to visit eventually

    • I hope you do visit Russia! I absolutely love it there 🙂 Stay tuned – after my blog is moved over to the new host, I am going to be working on a Russian Travel Info. page. Hope to offer helpful hints for traveling there.

      • I just might! But Germany is definitely going to be a major pit stop for me. My aunt and uncle live there!

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