St. Petersburg

Helen Ward

It is Easter morning and the Nikolsky Cathedral is full. Russian orthodox services are delivered to a standing crowd. Families mill about listening to prayer, seeking inspiration from their favored saints represented in icons hung through out this gorgeous blue jewel of a church. They have picnic baskets full of treats which are being blessed with holy water by one of the officiants. The golden onion shaped domes of the church, sky blue facade against the perfect blue sky, budding trees couldn't embody resurrection more clearly, The crowd is joyful and we feel entirely welcomed. 

Helen Ward

Wow! A lot has changed since my last visit to St P in 1977 when I came with my High School teacher Dr Egan and 10 other classmates from our Russian History Class. Back then the monochromatic palate of the identical black Volga cars everyone drove,  the consistent shades of grey and black coats and hats, the low grey January clouds and pallor of everyone's skin made the polychrome onion domes and pastel palaces of the Romanov's shocking in their brilliance. Today the billboards, variety and magnitude of cars and fashion in every shape and size present a very different image.