Saturday, December 15, 2012

Work trip: St. Petersburg, Russia

Helsinki, -5 degrees

Russia - where the sunsets are longer, the dawns less sudden and sentences are often left unfinished from doubt as how to best end them.

Privjet! Greetings from Russia's second largest city and Europe's fourth largest city - St. Petersburg! Last Wednesday me and as good as my whole workplace headed from Helsinki to Russia for a three-day-long study and wellbeing trip. We traveled to St. Petersburg by ferry using St. Peter Line and returned by VR's train called Allegro. This was my first trip to our neighboring country and I guess it's useless to say that it was long overdue! Here are some photos to show you some of the things I experienced in the city of mystique, romanticism, impressiveness, folklore and hearty & polite people!


I found that St. Petersburg reminded me of many European cities: Paris due to its architecture and river, Venice due to its bridges and colons and even London at some points due to its skyline, but despite this the city had a very characteristic feel to it.


The main sights that we saw were the Winter Palace, also called Hermitage, and the St. Isaac's Cathedral. A fun detail is that I learned that there has been a empress in Russia that had the same name as me, Elizaveta Petrovna.

We unfortunately did not have time to go into these two places during this trip since this was after all a work related trip, but I'm sure I will return to St. Petersburg in the future so I can visit them then. We mainly visited some work related places during our trip: the new harbor area, the so called House of Finland (Suomitalo in Finnish) and the Tourist Office of St. Petersburg.


I thought that one of the most beautiful sights in St. Petersburg was the Church of the Savior on Blood! The cupols, or flames as they are called, have delicious colors on them!


In the evening, I had the chance to revisit the Winter Palace and witness a Russian couple as it came to take some wedding pictures on the illuminated square - it was so beautiful and romantic! At that point I finally understood why people call Russians one of the world's most romantic people!


I also revisited the Church of the Savior on Blood in the evening since our dinner restaurant called St. Petersburg was located just next to it! The restaurant offered a four-course-dinner and folklore show which was fun!


Even though we only had two days in St. Petersburg, I had a great time and really enjoyed my stay! This thanks to the city, but also my colleagues with which I made this trip.

I was proud of the fact that I dared to speak some Russian even though I have only studied it for a short time at my workplace (1½ hour a week) and I haven't had to chance to invest that much of my spare time on learning the language. The response I got from the locals was nevertheless strictly positive which encouraged me.

I will show you some of the souvenirs I bought in St. Petersburg in a following blog post! I hope the later part of your week was spent in a equally wonderful way! What have you been up to?

12 comments:

  1. Oh wow, you are so lucky to have traveled there! The pictures you took are amazing, especially with all of the snow! I'm glad that you had a good time visiting.
    the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Shannon, it was about time, I had only waited for some 26 years, haha!

      xxx
      E

      Delete
  2. I have been to Russia but I was very young then and I don't remember anything about it.. anyway, it's lovely to hear that you enjoyed the trip and their culture (and food, hehe). and of course I'm curious to see what you bought from there!
    I and my fiance tried to find all the missing Christmas presents today and gosh, how hard it was! nobody knows what they want for Christmas and it was like a mission impossible. and we still have to find some things that we missed today. oh joy, haha.

    Maiken,
    Maikeni blogi - part of me

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I hope you found the presents you were looking for! Thank you for your lovely comment Maiken!

      xxx
      E

      Delete
  3. Aw wow Elisabeth, this looks like such a magical adventure, so excited to hear you went to Russia, from these images it all looks so beautiful! The costumes and dancing are so fascinating!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sam, it truly was fascinating to see how much we have in common but also how much differences we have among our two countries.

      xxx
      E

      Delete
  4. Great pictures! It looks gorgeous there! Looks like you had such a fun time, glad to hear it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Francesca! I had a great time!

      xxx
      E

      Delete