"Saint Petersburg is gloomy. Saint Petersburg is bleak…"

- Princess Anastasia

Twenty-eight hours of traveling, and a few coffee and croissants later, I made my journey over the pond, arriving in the Russian splendor that is St. Petersburg. Being the largest country in the world, it's still hard for me to imagine another place in Russia as beautiful and rich with history and culture as this great European city. Since I arrived almost two weeks ago, I have mastered the metro, discovered the miracle that is "hot tea" and learned enough foreign words to seem Russian enough to the police in fur hats standing watch at every turn (only Russians can make fur look intimidating).

This place certainly has a mysticism about it that makes one think you've just stepped into a storybook and at any moment, something extraordinary is going to happen. Every time you turn a corner, there is a fantastic sense of allure and adventure that is drawing you to come and explore. I definitely see my photography skills growing to a new level while I'm here; so bear with me as I strive to capture the essence of this nation the best I can.

The colors here seem to glow, making everything seem ancient and modern at the same time. The sights are of something that came out of an Arabian Nights tale and the aroma of hot bakeries, fresh espresso and top shelf perfume fills the air as every fashionista in high heeled boots and fur coats fill the streets in a frenzy to get to where they are going. This city has a heartbeat, and it pulls you into step with itself. Learning to keep up is half the battle. The other half is to truly take in every moment, appreciating it before it passes by.