Bye bye St. Petersburg, Hello Moscow!
Bye bye St. Petersburg, Hello Moscow! (posted by Jazz Dhillon ’15, Sully Jereidini ’14, and Ben Cardarelli ’15)
Our time in Russia, sadly, is coming to an end. After spending a month in the country, absorbing the art and culture of St. Petersburg and experiencing the vastness of Moscow, our group is preparing to take-off to India and begin the final leg of our journey. It’s eerie to think that in just over three weeks our group will scatter and we will all be back home.
Our last weekend in St. Petersburg was memorable, as we had a business visit with EMC and had the chance to speak with Zhanga, the marketing manager for St. Petersburg’s own Zenit Football Club. Zhanga provided us with background on the club, outlining its business model and explaining how the team generates different sources of revenue, and then surprised us with a gift: 26 tickets to a Zenit soccer game!
Our group braved the elements of Petrovsky Stadium and was entertained to a thrilling soccer match between rivals Zenit and CSKA Moscow. Snow began to fall in the latter half of the game, adding excitement to the contest and incentivizing us to cheer louder in an attempt to stay warm. Zenit overcame their adversary 2-0, led to victory by their superstar striker Hulk, and the city of St. Pete reveled for the night. It was the first time we had seen snowfall in Russia, adding an element of magic to the game and acting like the “icing on the cake” of our experience in St. Petersburg.
After spending our final evening in the city with our friends from the Graduate School of Management, a group of Russian students we became deeply attached to in a short period of time, our bus arrived to take us to the train station with Moscow in our sights. We waved goodbye to our tour guide, Sergey, and hunkered down in a sleeper train for the night. In the darkness the train slithered its way south, bypassing Russian cities that tend to go unnoticed by Western tourists, and crawled its way to the capital.
When we awoke in Moscow, our group quickly shook off our slumber and took a walking tour of the city. Its size and its density immediately stood out to us, as the city’s population of 17.5 million makes St. Petersburg and most other metropolises seem minuscule. We visited the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, and Lenin’s grave, and walked along the famous Arbat Street to reach our hostel.
Although we are currently pinned down with work, a handful of essays due in the next few days on the business environment of Russia, we are ecstatic to be in Moscow and cannot wait to experience more of the city. Russia has helped us broaden and develop our global mindset, as the country is unlike anything we expected. It is vast yet it can feel intimate, and the citizens are reserved yet once they get to know you they can be so warm.