I’m on a family trip and the first stop is St. Petersburg Russia. It’s an amazingly beautiful city. I knew very little about it before coming here so I didn’t know what to expect and the place has blown me away. Here are a few initial observations:
1. SUVs! Unlike places I’ve visited in Europe, people drive nice cars. I’ve seen a number of BMWs, Range Rovers, CR-Vs and many others all around the city. There are very few scooters and small cars do not seem to be the norm
2. The buildings are low. No building is more than 6-7 stories high so you can see lots of sky at all times. Not sure I agree with the economics of this, but it makes for a beautiful sight.
3. Parks and trees everywhere. St. Petersburg is known as the “Venice of the North” because it is made up of dozens of connected islands. But the city has also made a conscious effort to build parks and plants trees everywhere you look. It’s also spotless – I don’t think I’ve seen a piece of garbage on the sidewalk yet
4. Everyone is fit. Part of this may be that people walk more in the city but I’ve seen very few people overweight here. That’s just my observation and maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think I could walk around any major American city for a day and not see a number of obese people.
Those are just my first thoughts. I’ll hopefully have more later – I want to look up some more information on the city layout and population density.
It’s also the “White Night” period here as it is never dark. I took the picture above from my hotel room at 12:30 AM and while not necessarily bright out, you can still see sky and clouds clearly. I’ll post some more photos soon and check my twitter for more frequent updates.