June 25, 2011

St. Petersburg : Venice of the North

From the railway station, we took the metro to Nevskiy Prospekt. Fare was 22 rubles from one station to another, regardless of the distance.  

St. Petersburg railway station

the metro coin

We emerged from this building. Doesn't look like a metro station kan? But it's easy to spot one, just look for the 'M" sign.

Another entrance to the station

Just as we stepped out of the station, a majestic semicircular colonnade caught our eyes. Standing across Nevskiy Prospekt, the main street of the city, was the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan

But we had to look for our hostel first to check in. Luckily, our hostel was ideally located close to many attractions, and within walking distance from the metro station. After we freshened up and had some rest, we started our sightseeing.

The best thing when you visit St. Petersburg from May to July, you get the longest hours of daylight, nearly 19 hours! I repeat, 19 hours!!! This phenomenon is called the white nights and it's party time for the Russians after they endure the super cold winter. This is caused by its very northerly geographical location. At 59° 55' North, such a high latitude makes the sun disappear only for a while. Woot! Perfect for an avid traveller like me. I mean, when it's dark you can't see much right? 

Would you believe me if I say this picture was taken at 11.30pm? We were waiting for the sunset then. I wonder how it is if the fasting month falls during this period. Sunset at 11.30pm and sunrise is at 4.30am yo! O_o 

Oh ya back to the sightseeing, we headed back to the metro station. We went to visit the beautiful Kazan Cathedral first.

the huge columns  

From what I read, the design was inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. We didn't spent much time inside there, just walked around admiring the deco.

There was a long queue of people waiting for their turn to worship the icon of Virgin Mary. 

view from the back 

Then we went to the majestic St. Isaac's Cathedral. With a huge glittering golden dome that dominates the city skyline, you certainly can't miss it.  

Not far from the cathedral, at Senatskaia Ploschad stands the monument to the founder of St. Petersburg, Peter the Great.

the Bronze Horseman 

Then we walked along the city canals and rivers. There are more than 60 canals throughout the city. Because of this, the city is called the Venice of the North among the locals. 

Like I told you in my previous post, St. Petersburg has 342 bridges! There are some really interesting bridges to discover if you take a wander. 

Boat trips through the canals can easily be found on Nevskiy Prospekt. 

You will get the magnificent and different city views from the water. It costs about 400 rubles, but the price varies depending on the place where you take the boat and the time.

I've got a taste of Venice... but I still wanna go to the real one. One day... I hope.

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