This post is mixed, partly about the city and as the title states, a personal one. If you don´t mind reading scroll down, stay for the pictures and impressions of city and light in the stream below.


Status Quo

Today is day 13 of traveling, having spent my recent 4 days in lovely, beautiful and crowded St Petersburg. Startet with 5 days in Vilnius – the city I like so much – followed by 3 days in Telsiai in the lovely countryside of Lithuania, with the best hospitality a guest family ever can offer. Thanks Jurate, Siaulus, Simona and family for beeing a great host to me!
But I do feel a little weird. „Beeing in Transit“ describes the feeling most accurate right now as it feels like not having found my rhythm and scheme of travel yet. This also goes for the blog, it´s not that easy finding stories worthwhile posting and documenting as often as I want to, as cultural and language barriers exist.

What I learned while being in St. Petersburg.

I still hate touristy crowds, swarming round the city from site to site. Yes. I am also a tourist. As much as I like to tell myself I´d be walking „beyond the beaten path“ it’s not (always) possible. And thats why I like to get in touch with local people, especially in small villages, so you get the real deal out of the country, the people and their behavior. And exatly this was the case when I met Natalia, who showed me round the city the last evenings and made these very enjoyable. I´m planing a little post about her the next days!

As St Petersburg is huge (5 Mio. inhabitants, countless sites to see), crowded, and especially on Navy Day (where they show off the Russian Navy capabilities on the river Newa with an impressive parade with planes, ships, tanks what not) the city is packed. More on Navy Day here in English and German.

Click through the picture carousel below:

But, these crowds are not for me. I like strolling around in more quiet places, corners, in my own speed and time. But, before I can do that, whenever I enter a new city I first need to get an impression, an image, an understanding of the place. This is not at all possible in under 3 or 4 days and requires at least multiple Subway, Taxi, Uber rides, nights out in bars with locals and good talks with them. I had this feeling multiple times when traveling and now it established that I need more time in places worthwhile staying. So, on my 4th day my feeling for St Petersburg is getting clearer. I don’t like rushing through the world. I don’t like keeping schedules. If I want to stay, I stay, if not, I´ll go. I need time for shooting pictures, sitting in cafe´s, soaking up the spirit of a city. Now day 4 in St P feels like this, I arrived and now I feel ready to explore. First set a base, settle, then explore. Pitty, it´s my last day here in St. P. Need to take that into account for the next stations like Mongolia and Japan.

That´s why I´m looking forward so much to the Great Baikal Lake project Im participating for 14 days in one camp with 12 other people. More info on the project here.


The city of St. Petersburg.

The most impressive thing that strikes me every time traveling north / north east: the light! The light is absolutely different compared with what I experienced living in the south west of Germany.

In the morning, at daytime, late evening or even at night. St Petersburg is no exception and the difference becomes even more clear here. Light is soft, it fades in slowly in the morning, and does so in the evening, slowly. When you see the sun setting its probably still 1 to 1,5 hours to go before it disappears behind the horizon. The sun setting so slow creates stunning light creations in the city, on the river on the houses, on people. Being here I understand what it´s all about the „White Nights of St Petersburg“.

Click through for some iPhone shot light impressions:

I´m already in Moscow, hopping on the Transsiberian Railway at 19:00 local time. One of my desired travel destinations becoming true and I can´t wait walking through the busy train station looking for my train and cart. At the same time it feels very strange, months of planing, now tomorrow will really be the day I will do this? Cannot believe this at all. Keeping you posted!