The fireworks over the open drawbridges, the dancing fountains, the parades on land and international flotillas on the water under a twilit sky... these are the memories that come to mind for Frank D., an American whose first trip to Russia took place during St. Petersburg’s “300th birthday” back in 2003. Having taken the opportunity to stay through the full 10-day event, Frank and his observations of the Tricentennial event interested Travel All Russia, particularly as the city approaches its 310th anniversary celebrations. In order to give those who are still not certain about where they will vacation next year a reason to consider St. Petersburg, we sought his impressions about Russia’s window to the world.
Travel All Russia:
So, Frank, you were there at the “300th Birthday” of St. Petersburg a decade ago.
Yes, I was. The engineering firm I was with gave me two weeks off before shipping me out into the wilderness of Alaska, and I wanted to finally see Russia. I had been promising myself to see the country since the Soviet Union broke apart, but one thing led to another and I just simply never got around to it. With the dates I had available coinciding with the city’s Tricentennial, it seemed like the perfect time to go.
Was it the perfect time?
By and large, I’d have to say yes. Certainly it was crowded, and at times a bit crazy, but I’d not trade the experience for any other in the world.
Describe your best memory.
Well, I would have to say it was the water parade on the Neva. They had this tall ship, I think it was called “The Standard,” that sailed at its head in front of the Peter and Paul Fortress, as well as all these smaller yachts carrying flags from all over the world. I tried to get in close to the Winter Palace to see it all, but didn’t manage to get even to the Palace Bridge, the last bridge between Hare Island and the area of the Hermitage. You could sort of see the laser show going on in front of the palace. They say it wasn’t as good as it could have been because of all the wind blowing away all the fireworks smoke that the show depended on, but I mean, this was pretty high tech for a public show, I thought.
The city is going to hold its 310th birthday this year. Are you planning on going?
I’d really like to. I mean, the town has class. You have all these theaters, all these canals, all these bridges. My favorite canal bridge was the one with the sphinxes on it. That was pretty cool. I’d probably go with a guided tour this time, though. There is just so much going on, history-wise, on just about every street and every canal, that I sort of felt like I missed out of a large part of the story of the city last time, even though it was supposed to be a really big historical event.
The main events will take place on May 27th. This is the official date of St. Petersburg's foundation. Make sure you don't miss your once-in-a-decade chance to participate in the most amazing celebration of St. Petersburg's 310-year anniversary! Check out our small group tour Treasures of Two Capitals or cruise on Chernishevsky for these dates. We also offer 5-star program with plenty of included highlights.