Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Sunny Day in St. Pete

A while back, I started using a site called DailyMile as an exercise log. It has a neat feature that allows you to map your routes, and even save commonly-used routes such as a daily commute.  I realized that my daily commute to school and back totals about 3.5 miles of walking (and about 40 minutes on the metro each way). When I plugged this in, and then added my other walking excursions, I was surprised to find out that I walked 29 miles last week!

I know it sounds unbelievable, but I happen to have 29 miles worth of photos to prove it.  And we've had lots of sunny days lately, a climate which always inspires me to pull out my camera.  In a city like St. Petersburg, I just can't resist the temptation to snap a photo of almost every building I pass.


Last weekend I set off with some new friends I met in "Kofe Haus" - a large chain of Starbucks-like cafes with free wifi - and we ended up walking around downtown for about 5 hours. After such a long walk and a few games of pool, we were so far into the negative with our daily calorie intake, we had to re-fuel on margaritas and empanadas at a local Mexican joint. It was pretty funny when the food was brought to our table and an Indian guy in the group who moved to Russia five years ago says: "I smell curry." It turned out to be the rice I ordered.  Apparently Russia is so far away from Mexico that Mexican cuisine is more of a guessing game than anything!


Honestly, I can't name this building.

The playground in a downtown park.

The Bronze Horseman in the distance. This is a legendary statue and
a famous poem was written about it. More to come on this in a
follow-up post.

St. Isaac's Cathedral.  I had a fantastic tour of this - the 3rd largest cathedral in
Europe - just yesterday.  


"From Peter the First to Catherine the Second"
I'll explain this caption in my Bronze Horseman post.



This turned out to be just an office building.  But it's quite striking
architecture.



Walking down Bolshoy Prospekt - I take this route to school every day.




On the water-front. My university is just a few buildings down
from the green-and-white one.


The Admiralty. (An admiralty is where ships are built.  Peter I's hobby
was ship-building, so he had the admiralty built right next to the
Winter Palace -- aka the Hermitage -- and he actually paid himself a
salary, not for being tsar, but for overseeing shipbuilding.

The Hermitage - building on the left.
A Lutheran Church where I went last
week to a church service held by the
Calvary Chapel that meets upstairs. It was
really nice and a great way to learn Russian
since  there was consecutive translation from
the stage. I'm going back tomorrow and
bringing 6 friends! 


This obviously wasn't a sunny day. In fact, it was a
stormy night. White Nights have started, and I took this
at 11.30 pm last week!  Already last night it didn't get
dark til after midnight. It's quite strange to look out the
window at 10 pm and think that it's only 5.  Plus, I never
have had problems sleeping, but when it doesn't get
dark, it's like the dopamine doesn't kick in.
Пока!  Say "pahkah" -- That means, "See you later!"

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