Sunday, 29 January 2006
Phil in St Petersburg
We had a regional meeting in St Petersburg which was supposed to be -30 celcius but never really got that low (only -5 to -10). I packed so many warm clothes that I didn't really get to wear, as my normal winter clothes for Berlin were fine - in fact it was much colder in Berlin (about -15 to -20 celcius all week).
Had a really good meeting, which kept me busy all through the week. We had some social activities and a little free time, so I took the opportunity to have a look around - it is an amazing and incredibly beautiful city. So much colour, history and architectual beauty that I was really surprised. I think a visit in June would be even better! I expected a city more like Moscow, but the strong European influence (Italian, French, German) really came through. The city has so much history to see, from Peter and Catherine the great, Rasputin, the seige of Leningrad and the cruise ship Aurora, which fired the signal shot to start the 1917 revolution which led to the 'Soviet Era' of Russia.
Also went to the ballet and saw Swan Lake. I was expecting it to be good, but it was nothing short of magnificent. Both the show itself, and the athleticism of the dancers was really amazing. We also visited Catherine Palace and saw the amber room, and then for 'team building', had an afternoon of outdoor activities (drinking vodka and playing team games in the snow). Quite a bit of fun!
In the end it was a long and busy week, but I would recommend a visit to St Petes to anyone.