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Destination: St. Petersburg, Russia

July 8, 2012

Russia has been one of my dream destinations for quite some time now. I have a huge fascination with the Romanovs, Russian Language, and ofcourse St. Petersburg! How I wish to go back in time, preferably in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and walk along the glowing streets of St. Petersburg pre-World War I. Imperial Russia in my eyes or from what I’ve read was magical. No matter how much people dislike aristocracy, I’ve always had a high regard of it.

Admittedly so, the 1997 animated film Anastasia is still one of my favorite movies of all time. Peculiar for a young woman nearing her 20’s, but I’ve got the AVI file on my desktop to prove it. Sometimes when I’m bored or lonely I sit through the whole 97 minutes of Anastasia and sing along with her as she belts out ‘At the Beginning’ and ‘Journey to the Past’. But enough of my childish fantasies and back to the topic at hand. Long story short, it was in the movie Anastasia when I began to have a love for all things Russian.

St. Petersburg was also known as Petrograd for some time following the Russian Revolution, but  in 1991 it’s original name was restored. Home to the beautiful Winter Palace, the official residence of Russian Monarchs, it’s grandeur reflects that off Imperial Russia when it was at it’s height. The city is also home to numerous aristocratic homes and cultural centres that represent what Russia is, or once was. They say that the city is most beautiful during the winter season, and I could only hope to visit it one day.

To end this post I’d like to recommend a novel written by the late Eva Ibboston entitled ‘A Countess Below Stairs’. A young adult novel that takes you to two places in one sitting. It’s protagonist, Anna Grazinsky, a young Russian countess who flees to England following the Revolution takes a job as a housemaid in a young Earl’s home and leaves quite a mark in everyone’s hearts. Eva being one of my favorite authors has never failed to describe the wonder of a certain setting. I promise this novel takes you back and makes you fall in love with Russia, the countrysides of England and 1919.

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