It was middle of January and the temperature at
had dipped to minus 25 degrees Celsius. The tourist guide asked us once again, “Are you sure you want to go ahead with the sight-seeing tour today”. I was fully prepared to face the bitter Russian winter and so gave a double thumbs-up. The bus took ten of us around for the entire day and we had a truly memorable time. I will write about the places we visited in a separate post, this one is dedicated to sharing the sights and experiences of Russian winter. St. Petersburg
These pictures below were taken as we were passing by River Neva. The ships that had docked at this riverport had come in before winter had started and would leave only after winter was over. This is because River Neva was completely frozen and the ships were in a way ‘locked’ inside the river. In this picture, you will find the frozen
Neva and a locked/docked ship. The air is filled with smoke from the chimneys mixed with vapours rising from the frozen river. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral forms a beautiful silhouette in the background with light sunrays falling on the golden dome of the Cathedral and illuminating the sky.
The freezing exhaust of the cars, cigarette smoke, freezing air as we exhaled or spoke- and huge vapours rising from frozen Neva looked unbelievable at noon.
After seeing the frozen River Neva, the sight of this frozen canal (see below) did not actually surprise me. What surprised me really was how the bright sunshine suddenly lighting up one side of the road did not tempt even a single soul to step out on the streets. There was absolutely no one on the streets. As you can see, the bridge serves no purpose in winter as people can just walk across the canal if they want to.
Last but not the least, this is the frozen
Baltic Sea. From my hotel room, I had seen the frozen waves of the Baltic Sea, as if they were frozen in time. I wanted to touch the frozen wave and so after returning from the sight-seeing trip in the evening, I walked by myself to the shore, walked over the Baltic Sea, and touched one of the rising waves that would remain frozen until the end of winter. I took off two sets of gloves that I was wearing one over the other in order to click some pictures, but the pictures did not come out well because of poor light and my numbed fingers which I could barely bend. The temperatures had dipped even further and I could feel my eyelids sticking to each other and the thin film of moisture on my eyeballs also freezing. I rushed back to the hotel and my friends stared at me as if they were seeing a ghost. My eyelids were frozen with beads of ice on them. Gosh, I had never thought something like this could also happen. I did not venture again on the frozen Baltic Sea but the next morning I caught cars driving, racing and making patterns on the frozen Sea. Here is one car I captured from behind the glass panel of my warm hotel corridor.
Ask me the secret of enjoying a sightseeing trip in minus 25 degrees Celsius – besides the thermal wear, I was completely hidden under three layers of heavy sweaters and jackets, two sets of heavy socks and shoes, two sets of gloves and one woolen monkey cap - besides carrying an adventurous heart buried deep under these layers.