Rivers and Canals, Saint Petersburg
The old Dutch ship building works between the Moika River and the Neva River are on of the interesting architectural sites from the early 1700s. Large buildings of red bricks are monuments left to the days when ships were built here. During Soviet era is was a closed military zone.
It is a huge area with water canals inside and it will be a beautiful business center in a few years.
The plan to be implemented by Foster and Partners will make this a business center are underway and they say the brick buildings will be saved and renovated.
It looks to be an example of working with old buildings to bring them to new life rather than push them aside.
See second picture, a drawing by artist Irina Bykova in ink without trees. Artist website http://bykova.wedro.org
Reconstruction began in June 2007 with a big gala event! Spectacular!
Just quit the main prospects to the west side and follow one of these canals till the end and the other till Krlukov canal or even further...
Palaces, merchant houses, tree lined canals and few people coming your way...
And by the way, the name Griboedov means mushroom eater...
One of the secret places is in the central park for relaxation on Yelagin Island.
You can rent a catamaran (paddleboat) or row boat and see monkey island.
Three apes, from the baboon family, wait to see you go by.
You are not allowed to go on the island, butr you can take photographs. Many people throw them bread.
It costs about 200 rubles an hour plus a deposit that is returned.
You can navigate several canals and lakes in the island in addition to passing the apes :)
The environmental movements are slowly taking root in St. Petersburg as evidenced in June 2007 when Greenpeace Russia, based normally in Moscow, started water testing and patrolling of the Neva River in St. Petersburg.
The Neva is the shortest big river in Europe, about 40km from Lake Ladoga to the Finland Gulf.
It is the central and most notable feature of St. Petersburg, the source of all rivers and canals and the beautiful embankments.
Drinking water for St. Petersburg comes from Lake Ladoga, the source for the Neva River.
Water testing showed high levels of copper and manganese. Fish testing showed high concentrations of arsenic and polychlorbiphenyl (PCB).
City administration reports in 2006 reported that there are 375 places of direct discharge of sewage into the Neva and 40% of all sewage was dumped into the Neva without treatment.
Another reminder to boil all water in the teapot before drinking and drink bottled water when possible.
For Eco-tourists there are many volunteer programs developing
+7 812 352 1022
+7 962 695 6646
St. Petersburg branch of Greenpeace
As you cross the channel to Peter and Paul Fortress from Alexandrovsky Park (Metro Gorkhovskaya) You can toss a coin and land it next to the rabbit for good luck.
Ever wonder what happens to all the Unlucky coins?
Maybe you will see someone snorkeling there and filling a bag with coins.
It is real treasure hunting with guranteed results in gold colored coins!
We think the diver has the most luck of all :)
The Dolphinarium has multiple Dolphin and Beluga shows in a day .
Held in a colorful former olympic training pool converted for Dolphins.
They swim, jump, talk and get you wet if you sit in the first row :)
Former swimming pool Spartak
Metro Krestovsky Island
February, the coldest month, is a good month to spot ice fishermen. Usually seen on the finland Gulf, they may be on any lake or if they are not too ambitious, they may be on a canal in the city.
Here on Fontanka River one man tries his luck.
The water is not too clean in the canals, maybe it is best to feed these fish to the cats.
Mandrogi is the newly renovated Sver river city you can visit by boat or bus tour. You can take the little ferry to a small island and a walk amoung wood sculptures all related to fairytales by Pushkin.
Mandrogi is a small island with only has about 50 residients, but it is an intersting wood architecture and sculpture. Originally person who lived in Mandrogi loved to make wood carvings and eventually it became a toruist stop and the whole village is filled with ornate wood constructiins and sculpture. It was burned and in disrepair for many years until the 1990 when rebuilding began.
It is on the way to Karelia between Lake Ladoga and Onega Lake on the Sver river.
We did a lot of walking in St. Petersburg. One reason is that many of the sights are just within walking distance from another. Another is that taking a bus with signs you don't understand is kind of tricky. And the third, probably the main reason why we did so much walking is just because St. Petersburg is so beautiful. Just walk along one of the many canals. Everywhere you see wonderful palaces, some back at their glory, some not. That's a big part of St. Petersburg's charm.
Ice fishing and fishing in general is a passion in Russia. All this caviar has to be collected somehow. What is different in this particular case is the location and we know that the location does it all. I do not know how many fishermen are architecturally inclined or vice-versa, how many architects are angling mad. One is sure, for the casual onlooker it is a sight of a lifetime. Some fellows have developed a technique for maximizing the warmth of the weak winter sunrays. A huge plastic bag is placed over the fisherman and thus stopping the wind chill to a bare minimum. At the same time the conventional means of heating such as a case of vodka are not neglected either - impossible anyway, considering its dual purpose, namely, an armchair (almost).
This used to be a place where the wood for Peter the Great's ships used to be stored when another location was destroyed by fire all the way back to the 18th century. Someone had thought of a new way of storing it, so Peter ordered to put up an artificial island near the Admiralty building and build a warehouse for wood there. Well, at least that's what the guidebook said...:)
As far as I'm concerned, it's just a very attractive place to come and take in the atmosphere of the city with it's channels and architecture. And this place has a great advantage over others - it's not that far from the main avenue and yet it's an absolutely quiet and peaceful place where very few tourists go. On my way there I noticed only some local people and the only way I was given to understand it's a touristic place were occasional boats with guides shouting the facts and fiction to the gaping tourists.
To get to this island, which is called 'new holland' you take a left turnig from Nevskij Prospect and continue along the river Mojka for about 10-20 minutes. You'll pass a large square and St. Isaacs cathedral and when you come to a kind of crossroad of the bridges, turn right and walk around the island to see the red brick buildings remaining from the 18-19th centuries.
St. Petersburg is interpersed by canals and rivers here and there.
To get to the other islands like the Petrograd side, the Vyborg side, etc... one needs to cross the Malaya Nevka and Bolshaya Nevka through a series of bridges.
Staying on the main side, one needs to pass by several such canals too. The more famous ones are Griboedova Canal and Fontanka Canal.
The rivers and canals are the lifeblood of St. Petersburg, even in winter.
Some artists state their point of view on the snow on the Fontanka River near Nevsky Prospekt. "Artists against art!"
This was a splendid view from my room in Pribaltijckaya hotel. There are only 60 sunny days per year in St. Peterburg, and I was lucky to meet one in autumn.