Talk to Me About Peterhof, Please

I was walking on that large street, called Pravlenskaya Street, in Peterhof, a town in Russia, wondering if I would ever get tired of that city. I had been living there for almost 5 years at that moment and I, literally, loved every single inch of it. With my headphones on my head, listening to my favourite Tsoi’s song „Gruppa Krovi” („Blood Type”), I stopped on that street looking around and realizing how much I wanted the time to stop. I was just ignoring the fact that in some weeks I would be far away from my beloved city. I had no idea how I would fill the emptiness in my heart, so I decided to continue walking, trying to keep intacly in my memory images of every corner of every street, of every building and of every bench on which I had ever sat on.

I reached Sankt-Peterburgskiy Avenue and stopped in front of Peter and Paul Cathedral. I was looking at it as if I saw it for the very first time in my life, even if I had seen it for like one thousand times before. I was amazed. Its immensity and beauty did nothing but made me stare at it for hours. I smiled, as pleasant memories crossed my mind, remembering my cousin in the her „once-in-a-lifetime” white dress. She was happy there. I was, too. I looked at its arhitecture and tried to imagine its history and what the building would feel if it were a person. Would it be proud of how beautiful it was? Would it be tired of how many people got to see it everyday? I could not say. What I was able to say was that it was overwhelming and I promised myself to try to convince at least ten people to come and visit it, as it may change their lives, as it did with mine. I decided to move forward, still keeping my eyes on the cathedral.

I continued to walk and got to the Upper Garden. This was literally Heaven for those who liked fountains. It was full of them. I saw myself, years ago, playing with my little cousin near Neptun Fountain, laughing out loud, making photos. I was just so touched. I remembered her unique and childlike smile and her innocent eyes, enjoying the water and the grandeur of the fountain. I kept that in memory. Neptun Fountain got me on that. I bought an ice-cream, trying to put myself in my cousin’s skin, feeling like a child and pretending that I would never have to leave that place again. But I had to. So, I left, longing to see my favourite place: the Beach.

It was the place I always wanted to see. The Baltic Sea was the most devoted friend from all the friends I ever had. I did not realise why and how that connection appeared, but I knew that, unconsciously, all my ways would always lead to that beach. It had something sole. The water, the shells, the sand. The histories. I was looking at its tranquil waves and I realized that it had the power to hold into its depth so many lives and stories and still emitting serenity. Before moving to Petergof I always thought that it was impossible to calm my spirit just by listening to the sound of the waves. But, in that certain moment, it was the best feeling ever. And it was possible.

I was sitting there, playing with the sand and thinking about this charming city. Was it just about its exclusive places? Would it be just another city to visit for a tourist? No, definitely not. Petergof was about spirituality, health, emotions and harmony. If I could, I would never leave it.

But wait! What did I see? Was it A bottle floating on the water? Oh, maybe it was a love letter from the other shore…

Mihaela Guțu