St. Petersburg, the Imperial City

My son Leo is named after great a Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. We are standing by Catherina Palace´s feeling her presence here still 400 years later. 

My heart bled when I saw the photos of this Palace after the WW2. During medieval times Kings would fight in a duel with each other to save unnecessary blood. Where has the knightlyhood disappeared? 

Just before our Circus Festival of Archipelago kickstarts, we decided to take a short contract to launch a new luxury cruise ship in Germany, Mein Schiff 4. Our family flew to Hamburg to embark in Kiel followed by a cruise of the Baltic Sea. Our trip consisted of three stops: Tallin, St.Petersburg and Helsinki-our final destination.

By the way, I am particularaly proud of the Finnish craftsmanship on Mein Schiff 4. The ship, crafted in Turku, is incredible beautiful: detail of design exceed into curtain patterns, mirrow decoration, artwork as well as engineering planning. How can our 18 square-meter cabin fit in a perfect bathroom, three beds, a couch, desk and closet space for  a family of four? In addition there is  a room service, kid´s club, tasty buffet (where my husband eats like a Tzar), swimming pool and meals available 24 hours. It does make our performing life enjoyable on board.

But---the visit to Russia…

The rest of my family hold two nationalities, but I do not have a Russian passport, therefore I can only visit St.Petersburg via touristic agency. We managed to book a tour for our family to visit the Venice of the North. St Petersburg is a city build with tenderness by emperors and tzars: it is a city praised by Dostojesvki, destroyed by Germans during WW2, harmed by communists and rebuild again by Putin.

Regardless of the poltical differencies and border checks, this city should be embraced and elevated to the status it deserves. We live just next door to it in Finland, yet so few people have actually promenaded on Neva`s shores.

The city boasts with history: Peter, Catherine the Great, Alexander, Nikolai and the last members of the murdered Romanov`s have found they final resting place in St. Peter---but yet, their imperial touch is alive everywhere. Their breath is visible  in golden rooftops and ornaments, in architecture,  in broad prospekts and in the city`s many parks.

In the beginning of the century, St.Petersburg used to be the hot spot to visit during the carnival celebrations; all world`s elite entertainers regardless of their genre would head to perform in St. Petersburg. If they had time, they would practise their performance arts in Turku on their way to the imperial theaters--we were lucky in Finland to view these artists. The World Wars dropped down the  imperial velvet curtains, communistic regime limited its audiences and jailed in the rich culture of Russia.

I can only hope that Mein Schiff will bring us again to the port of St. Petersburg and that we can visit  circuses, theaters and ballets at Neva's prospekt—preferrably in  a  visa-free world.

East and west are out-dated concepts created by our minds— in mos cases it is created by our politicians. The fastest way to change the world is by the power of thought, it is faster than the light.

Howabout a change in mentality today? 


© Circus Princess 2014