Every big city requires a place to relax and rest from the daily chaos of modern life. In Saint Petersburg, out of the many parks and social areas, Yelagin island is one of my favorites, and also one of the Peterburgers’ favorites – to the point they call it “central park”.
Being on the north side of the city, in one of the branches of the Neva river with an open view to the Finland Gulf, this island has amazed me ever since my first autumn here, when it was all covered in yellow, orange and green leaves–the “golden fall” as it is called in Russian.
Every season, as in the entire region, the colors and moods change dramatically and I go around with a camera to look for some landscape or detail. The entire island is a park, with little inner lakes, a forest, ice rinks, a farm and a museum on a palace that used to belong to the Romanov family. It’s all connected to the city just by two thin wooden bridges, which help make it feel like another little world.
Families come here to take walks while kids play among the trees, others feed squirrels and sparrows, young (and not so young) runners exercise around (on winter they wear skates and skis to keep coming) and some fishermen try their luck from the stony beaches of the island…