St. Petersburg. The city that doesn't sleep

Having just had one of the most magical short holidays ever, I thought I would share my excitement with anyone who might be interested.

When I decided to visit St. Petersburg with a group from the Ballet class that Olga Vikhrova patiently teaches, at Richmond Adult Education College every Thursday, I didn't expect to be so delighted with my experience.

It was an unforgettable magical experience that indulged all my senses. The sheer scale of the city and its magnificent architecture, with its splendid plentiful parks and canals was enough to dazzle my eyes and take my breath away. Each time I turned a corner, my eyes were feasted with a wonderful view. I delighted in visiting museums and art galleries and indulged my passion for Ballet and saw some great performances at the Mariinsky theatre and other magnificent theatres which form a part of the cultural feast that celebrate all forms of performing arts from a to z.

I walked for miles along the canals, long prospects and streets of the city taking in the views, the sounds and smells. I watched the bridges over the Nieva open, one after the other, to let the ships go by, alongside many jolly natives who just find pleasure gathering along the river to watch this age old tradition. Because the city stays light in the summer until 1.00 a.m. and the weather is warm, you can do so much without realising it; you only stop when you get a pain message from your feet!!

My taste buds were not left out from this sensual experience. I went with Olga in search of the perfect pirojni, those irresistible little cakes that Russia is so famous for. Need I mention the Vodka? I think not. I visited vast plentiful markets where food of every description was on offer. However, tea at the Aurora Cafe; is a must if you like people watching.

I only wish I could have stayed a little longer to truly appreciate this magical city which, once visited, calls you back again and again.

Hanifa Dobson