Having been part of my father’s diplomatic baggage until a couple of years ago, I am used to moving to new countries on a fairly regular basis. However, those moves have always been in the hands of my fairly strong-willed mother, who managed to move, 5 children, 1 husband and 3 (or so) dogs between countries, counties and villages. Thus, other than travelling to and from these countries and whatever school I was at in England, I have not really had to organise myself when moving countries. As detailed earlier (see previous blog post), I had to do a hell of a lot of organisation to get myself to Russia.
So having completed my mountains of paperwork, I will endeavour – as promised – to write slightly more entertaining accounts of my time here in Russia. I have only just completed my first week, thus, I am afraid that life has not yet leapt wildly into action. I have however had one of the most contented weeks of my life getting to know the city of St Petersburg and accustoming myself to my new surroundings. St Petersburg is one of the most “European” cities in Russia, in that Peter the Great the designer and patron of the city of St Petersburg picked out all the best features of his favourite European cities and melded them together to make one big super-city. And I have to applaud him, he did an excellent job. St Petersburg is in parts completely breathtaking. My walk to my university, for example, requires that I walk along Nevsky Prospect (the Russian King’s Road), directly through the Palace Square (home to the Hermitage and Winter Palace), past St Isaac’s Cathedral, over the Neva river, past a few more palaces before reaching the University door.
Admittedly, every person living in St Petersburg, may not have quite such a spectacular commute, but nevertheless, it is still a challenge to find anywhere it St Petersburg that is devoid of charm. The dozens of winding canals provide Venice-esque scenery, giving the illusion of a much smaller and quieter city. Meanwhile walking along Nevsky Prospect, or crossing one of the enormous bridges over the Neva makes you feel as though you are in a buzzing metropolitan. With the sea only an hours walk from my door, my desire for fresh sea air and being close to large bodies of water is completely sated and I have never had such a feeling of contentment in a city as I have had here. On that note of complete self-satisfaction and with zero critical analysis, I must inform you that I have nothing else to write for you all.