Some years ago I bought a bike. Since then, I’ve been able to take my explorations around the city on new paths. In one of those expeditions, I followed the old “Road of Life”, the path that saved Leningrad during the siege of the city, between 1941 and 1944, when the German armies surrounded it completely except for this narrow corridor, which was the only way to take out the sick and wounded citizens and to bring in medicine and food.
It took me about an hour to reach the limit of the city from the metro station Ladozhkaya, making stops to take pics of some old Soviet buildings and monuments along the way. Up to that point, only a couple of reliefs on some obelisks marked the path I was looking for. Once I crossed a certain huge highway on my bike, however, the horizon and landscape changed dramatically. Forests and grassland surrounded the road, while drivers sped on their way to Ladoga lake. After some minutes, a white obelisk appeared, the first of many on the side of the road, signed with a soviet star and the words “Road of Life”.
There are many stories about this path, all of them involving tragedy and hope. On the other side of the road, huge concrete flowers formed also a part of this memorial place, where almost a thousand trees were planted, one for every day the siege lasted.