In June 2017 I spent four weeks in Saint Petersburg. Let me review a few Russian charms taken from here and there.
The smallest monument – Чижик-пыжик or Chizhik-pizhik
From previous visits in Saint Petersburg, I knew that the Chizhik-pizhik exists somewhere above the Fontanka channel. This time I found this tiny monument. Ursula took the photos.
There are coins on the small platform that the bird stands on. Here you see that people are throwing the coins aiming carefully. When the money lands on the platform, you have a wish!
“Чижик” or “chizhik” means siskin (Zeisig in German) and “пыжик” is either a young reindeer or the caps made out of the reindeer fur. Hence, the Chizhik-pizhik is a small siskin with a reindeer cap. This alludes to the students that used to wear those caps and also used to visit the pub of the merchant Nefedov near the place, where the Fontanka channel meets the Moika channel. In that pub the students would sometimes drink too much and then feel dizzy. The Chizhik-pyzhik is actually a drunken student. A small song explains that:
Чижик-пыжик, где ты был? На Фонтанке водку пил. Выпил рюмку, выпил две —Зашумело в голове.
Chizhik-pyzhik, where’ve you been? Drank vodka on the Fontanka. Took a shot (literally: a small glass), took another – Got dizzy (literally: it roared in my head).
The Swiss watch of the brand Omega
Not far from the blue bridge crossing the Moika we found this clock. It is a Swiss clock of the brand Omega.
I could not find out, why this watch hangs in the Pereulok Antonenko near the blue bridge. Greetings from our home – charming.
Great gardens all over
Beginning of June the tulips were in flower. It was still spring. Towards the end of June, summer flowers started to be in bloom. There are beautiful parks all over Saint Petersburg. One of them is the Jelagin Park where we took this photo.
Beware of “unexpected” obstacles Saint Petersburg or Venise of the North
The channels Moika, Fontanka and Griboedov as well as the Neva are great for a boat trip – we did two of them. Here our boat is flying along the Fontanka close to the houses called “Three Sisters”.
But… the channels are definitively impractical for cars.
Charming traffic sign!
“My” Planeta Fitness has now become a church
“My” Planeta Fitness or Планета Фитнес was the place where I kept fit, when I was in Saint Petersburg in 2013. I loved the Planeta Fitness for its efficiency and the good fitness trainers. Though the equipment was somewhat worn out, it was perfect and charming.
“My” Planeta Fitness does no longer exist now. It has become a church, as the new decoration on the window shows.
Fitness can still be acquired in Saint Petersburg, but I found a different setup. A friend of mine took me to a luxury hotel with a luxury spa… the elyptical trainers were modern and in good shape and there was a large swimming pool with wellness corners. Things have obviously changed in Saint Petersburg.
Rain, rain, rain… it is a cold summer in Saint Petersburg
2017 is a chilly summer in Saint Petersburg, and there are often heavy rainfalls. More than once, we were wet through to the skin. We never left our house without an umbrella. Very useful, as this photo taken from our kitchen window shows.
When back in Switzerland, I had to switch on my ventilator, because it was so hot – more than 30 degrees. When skyping with my Russian teacher she says that she has no ventilator. I am about to feel sorry for her, but she laughs: “What do I need a ventilator for here in Saint Petersburg, it is rarely more than 20 degrees now.”
It is good that there is so much to do in Saint Petersburg, even when it is chilly and raining. It is a charming town, and I look forward to returning some time soon. This is the wish that I would utter, when successfully throwing money on to the platform of the Chizhik-pizhik or Чижик-пыжик.