Nothing prepared me for Russia. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and the main reason I decided to go visit was because a flight I was taking with Aeroflot on the way to my destination offered a very cheap stop-over for a few days and I’ve never been. Somewhat brainwashed by western propaganda and Hollywood movies I somehow imagined Russia of the former Soviet Union to be grey and crumpling, cold and characterless, and I was dead wrong. Atleast when it comes to Moscow and Saint Petersburg, these two cities are some of the most impressive cities I’ve had the pleasure of visiting recently. Absolutely breath-taking architecture, gorgeous combinations of land and water, outstanding public-transport, friendly locals,delicious food, fun and diverse nightlife, I could not have wished for a better visit. Everything that I experienced has challenged my skewed prior misconceptions. Even at the height of what seems like a financial crisis with the Ruble crashing down two months before my arrival and making Russia one of the most affordable European visits I had, the two big cities show tremendous growth and wealth. The shops, the people, the high-tech, the road construction everywhere, there’s a general vibe of vitality, which is in a strong contrast to a vibe I get in some other developed parts of the world.
Saint Petersburg is a real gem. With architectural wonders in every corner, Amsterdam like water canals, large rivers flowing through, the beauty surrounds you everywhere. To give you a quick taste of my very short two days visit, here are my ‘Visions of Saint Petersburg’.
More on Saint Petersburg to hopefully follow soon.