I just loved Moscow so much, Peter was always on the back foot from the time that I arrived! Maybe you really can have too much of a good thing.
But the City grew on me the longer that I was there … it has an airy sort of spaciousness about it compared with Moscow which made it relaxing and nothing was spared in its expression of pure aristocratic delight!
Its real blossoming coincided with a time when Europe and Russia met and embraced. Russians began to eat with knives and forks for the first time! The Renaissance and the Revolutions in France and USA fed intellectual discussion here as Russian writers, composers and dancers of the day stunned Europe in turn.
There seemed no end to the stunning palaces, mansions, theatres and museums … street after street impressed. Planned gardens dotted with white statues of gods and babes (who always seemed to have at least one boob out for some reason!) where Tsars alone had once walked linked with leafy public parks of yellow (where everyone seemed to want a leaf hat) making the perfect backdrop.
St Petersburg was the capital of Russia from 1712 to 1918 and locals often consider that it should be again.
Dostoevski lived much of his life in Peter and I visited his home (now a museum), the Bastion in the Fortress where he was held in solitary confinement (by the Tsar this time, before the Bolsheviks time!) and wandered around taking photos of anything with his name on it! I did stop short of spending my day’s food money on seeing his grave though – I hope he will forgive me.
The canals, bridges and sunsets finished the symphony and left me hanging….. There is still a lot left to do in Peter just as in Moscow and again it was hard to leave.
In the end, whether you prefer Moscow or St Petersburg is not important – they are both must sees.
(P.S. But, for me, I preferred Moscow, just! Hehe, shouldn’t have said that but just making up the numbers! ).