St.Petersburg for a thought

It’s been almost six years since I’ve last been in Petersburg. Even
though it is my home city, it happened so that I haven’t been there
since I moved to Finland in 2000.

12:22 03 June 2006 Castle of Vyborg (Viipuri)
12:22 03 June 2006 After the border – Castle of Vyborg (Viipuri)
14:03 03 June 2006 Image054
14:03 03 June 2006 Approaching Petersburg by train

I’ve got very mixed feelings from this weekend trip. It was like any other business trip – in and out, tight schedule, meetings and short nights.   

17:42 03 June 2006 Hotel Novotel
17:42 03 June 2006 Hotel Novotel
21:43 03 June 2006 Restaurant Gorchakov
21:43 03 June 2006 Restaurant Gorchakov


Travelling by train is still the best way to get to Petersburg from Helsinki despite really old cars that are used in Sibelius and Repin trains (actually Sibelius will be replaced with an InterCity train in mid-June) and really sad scenery one can observe when approaching the city (but that’ll change as well in September when trains will be directed to Finlandia railway station).

10:34 04 June 2006 Nevsky prospekt
10:34 04 June 2006 Nevsky prospekt
12:30 04 June 2006 Sitting in a cafe on Nevsky prospekt
12:30 04 June 2006 Sitting in a cafe on Nevsky prospekt


To be honest I felt as a stranger in a city where I used to live for 20 years. It was a really weird feeling – when you know that you are supposed to know everything, but then face difficulties with basic things, like entering a metro station.

13:02 04 June 2006 Streets of Petersburg
13:02 04 June 2006 Streets of Petersburg
13:19 04 June 2006 Skyscraper
13:19 04 June 2006 Skyscraper


The city itself has changed a lot. I didn’t get a chance to go to any "tourist" places this time, but it was probably for the best. I saw a lot of new businesses on the streets of the city, nice small cafes and restaurants, and it was much cleaner than I remeber. The ring road is almost finished – looks really nice.

From the meetings in those two days, I’ve got a strong feeling that there’s huge IT potential and if managed and developed properly, the city can very well become a Northwest Silicon Valley.   

15:52 04 June 2006 Wide streets
15:52 04 June 2006 Wide streets
15:59 04 June 2006 Interesting traffic sign combination
15:59 04 June 2006 Peculiar traffic signs combination


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