Russian Gothic Architecture


I visited St. Petersburg, Russia in 2001 shortly after 9-11 happened. I was boarding my plane when the first tower has hit. When air restrictions lifted, I left with a heavy heart yet thankful for a distraction. Nothing says adventure like traveling alone half way around the globe not knowing the language.

I didn’t know what to expect except cathedrals, ballet and art museums. St. Petersburg is so much more. People knew I was American since most women don’t travel alone. Russians and people from several countries came up to say how sorry they were about the tragedy in America. I cried knowing someone a world away cared. We can live in a bubble sometimes.

The Russian people tried so hard to help me when asking for directions even thou we didn’t speak each other’s language. I walked everywhere even at night with little worry of crime. Restaurant owners would watch for me knowing I was a women walking alone. The food was outstanding, caviar superb and service was excellent. I felt like a princess, the gypsy music never sounded better.

I stayed at The Astoria Hotel, one of the two five-star hotels in St. Petersburg. They had me at hello! From the Mercedes at the airport, to the tour of the hotel, fresh flowers, chilled champagne with hand written welcome note. The doorman knew my name when I arrived. I had a personal taste test of the different types of caviar.

A little intimidating for a hometown Texas girl. I hit the tourist spots and didn’t see half of my list. St. Petersburg is beautiful with a long interesting history. The Russian people were warm and hold a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to go back.


Categories: Travel

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    • There are many parts of Russia that aren’t very nice but you can’t go wrong with St. Petersburg. I didn’t know to expect from the people nor did I have any idea about crime rates. When I was there I would walk the area or go to dinner and no problems. The Gypsy’s work the area by the church and were pretty aggressive but nothing worse than Mexico. The cathedral by the hotel was so pretty on inside, I just started crying. I noticed most women were covering their head luckily I had a scarf. If your into art The Hermitage houses the art of Catherine the Great. I could spend a week in there. I miss traveling. With my health issues I haven’t traveled in several years. I stay positive because my bucket list is very long. Have a great day.


      • I’ve never traveled at all, so I love hearing others stories. I’ve worked with people from other countries in ESL programs and met wonderful people. Some of my favorite were the Russian women. They told stories of oppression that broke my heart. When they came to the states to start over it was so much work, yet they were the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing your story. I don’t have a bucket list and times running out–that’s a good idea!


      • Russians are very hard working and have had a tragic past of poverty. We can dream about anything. It’s very positive to have things and places you want to go, even if it doesn’t happen. Have a great day.


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