Lay of the Land
“But Sasha was from Russia, where the sunsets are longer, the dawns less sudden, and sentences often left unfinished from doubt as to how to best end them. ”~Virginia Woolf
St. Petersburg is a series of islands divided by the enormous Neva River, which slices around the mainland like a number seven and opens into the Bay of Finland. It is easily navigated since most of the famous domes and spires are visible from all points of the city. On the north side of the river is Petrogradskaya Storona, a hip neighborhood with many shops and restaurants, plus the must-visit Peter and Paul fortress. However, most visitors stay south of the river near the northern end of the Nevsky Prospekt, the main thoroughfare in the city within walking distance of the Hermitage, Church of Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Visitors will also spend time on Vasilievsky Island, one of the oldest parts of the city that most resembles Europe for its many canals and bridges.