Summer as you imagine it, hot and sunny, is always late to arrive in St. Petersburg. This year is no exception. It’s almost the middle of June, and it’s your first time opening the closet for a seasonal inspection. Before long, it turns into a decluttering session: some items don't bring you joy anymore, others don’t match. And you’re missing denim shorts and a sunhat! You pack clothes you don’t need and put them into a donation container that’s conveniently near a second-hand shop. After 10 minutes of thrifting, you find the perfect pair of shorts. As a reward for this eco-friendly approach, you treat yourself to a huge ice cream from a trendy gelateria.
If white nights disturb your sleep, why not turn them into quality time with your friends?
At first, you wanted to go bridge-watching, but you all agreed you’d seen enough of them before. Instead, you’ve chosen to complete your 10,000 steps routine at night by strolling down empty streets under the never-dark sky and discovering the undiscovered corners of the city center.
Too bad you can’t have all the seasonal drinks in one go, so you opt for a Bumble coffee. Yet, the heat is here to stay. To cool down, the friends' council decides to take a boat tour. Some call it a tourist attraction, but you believe it’s just as enjoyable for locals, especially when you know where to buy discounted tickets. On the boat, you always fight for a seat near the broadside, with all the spectacular views. The city looks majestic from the canals, and you think you're falling in love with it even more than before. It’s getting late and the breeze from the water makes you ask for a blanket – on the same day you were melting!
It’s picnic time! There's a variety of picnic-worthy parks to choose from, but the majority of locals settle on Yusupovsky Garden. Beforehand, you drop by the Sennoy market for fresh strawberries and cherries and then wash them carefully in the lavatory of the nearest shopping mall (better than eating them dirty). On the spot, you spread a blanket on the grass and make yourself comfortable with treats of all kinds. After a while, you notice people sunbathing in nothing but their swimsuits. A second later, your companions start a heated discussion on whether it's an appropriate outfit for a public garden.
The Gulf of Finland – that’s where your swimsuits are always in fashion. In the morning, you meet your besties at the railway station and catch a suburban train to Komarovo, a resort area near the city. Protected by tons of sunscreen, you safely spend a lazy day on the beach playing badminton, picking up shells, and soaking your feet in the warm water. If only you could swim here, but it isn’t deep enough, even far from the shore. On the train back you feel so soft and relaxed, you accidentally fall asleep on a stranger’s shoulder – the sun took all your energy!
A fly in the ointment: summer is also a season when the hot water may magically disappear from your tap. You’ll never know how long this curse will last – it might be two days, it might be two weeks. The note on your entrance door mercilessly states the latter, starting tomorrow. When flashbacks of previous years finally let go, you bravely pace yourself for boiling water in the kettle for every shower, visiting all your friends who avoided this fate, and making use of a free trial at your local gym.
Hot water is back and you swear you’ll thank plumbers for such a gift every single day. To celebrate that, you take a long shower until the skin on your fingertips shrivels. Now that you're a brand new (clean) person, your active lifestyle is back. The mild weather is perfect for cycling, so you head for a solitary ride to your favorite locations. After 25 kilometers of fair pedaling, you stop in the nearest park to make up your mind and check with your summer to-do list – and are surprised to see how much you’ve done already!
If you want to get into the spirit of summer like a local, check out more of our seasonal stories!