Day in the Summer Garden

Today we came back to our dorm and found a note from the cleaning ladies. It was in Russian and after translating several of the unknown, yet key, words, we discovered its meaning. It asked us not to leave things on the floor and not to put leftover food on the table. So we spent the afternoon cleaning our rooms and then bought some small gifts for the cleaning ladies which we left behind for them. Later my friend and I went to St. Isaac’s Cathedral which is simply stunning. We saw the museum which was simply amazing and breathtaking inside. Then we went up the Colonnade and it was beautiful there as well. There was a great view of the city and we got some pretty great photos.

After St. Isaac’s we saw an old building that looked interesting so we headed in that direction. My friend had also heard about New Holland Island so we found it on the map and went in search of it. We found both places but the old medieval-looking building turned out to be a post office. Then we found the island but there was construction going on so we couldn’t go onto it.

After that it was off to Nevsky Prospekt and food at KFC. I can’t remember the last time I ate KFC in America so I don’t know how to compare it. But it wasn’t bad at all. Then we ventured to the Summer Garden and sat there for a while because it was just so beautiful. There were ice cream vendors and we bought some ice cream just sat and soaked it all up. There was a guy playing a xylophone and selling his CDs and the music was so beautiful and created such a serene atmosphere. It was also especially interesting because we’ve started to learn the poem “Summer Garden” by Anna Akhmatova in class. It was interesting to see all the things that she wrote about and feel how she felt about this gorgeous garden.

Then we went in search of the Summer Palace which we expected to be this big, huge, beautiful palace. But instead it turned out to be a small, two story building on the edge of the garden. Afterward we crossed to another island and looked around, went inside a small temple that was very beautiful and then had a look at the mosque which has a gorgeous blue tile roof. Unfortunately it was closed so we couldn’t go inside. Perhaps another time…

ЛЕТНИЙ САД
Я к розам хочу, в тот единственный сад,
Где лучшая в мире стоит из оград,

Где статуи помнят меня молодой,
А я их под невскою помню водой.

В душистой тиши между царственных лип
Мне мачт корабельных мерещится скрип.

И лебедь, как прежде, плывет сквозь века,
Любуясь красой своего двойника.

И замертво спят сотни тысяч шагов
Врагов и друзей, друзей и врагов.

А шествию теней не видно конца
От вазы гранитной до двери дворца.

Там шепчутся белые ночи мои
О чьей-то высокой и тайной любви.

И все перламутром и яшмой горит,
Но света источник таинственно скрыт.

1959

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