The sunbathers that take the sun every year at the beach of the Peter and Paul fortress have opened their 2017 season. A group of men and women gathered near the fortress’ thick stone walls on a sunny day March 5, surprising and shocking tourists and not surprising locals.
What you see on the cover photo is not a flashmob, neither is a movie production process, neither is a kind of protest or a TV show.
What you is just people sunbathing. It’s just what it seems to be.
What looks weird is that the people are half-dressed, they are standing and it’s early spring with the temperature being at -2 Celsius level. Yes, two degrees below zero.
Well, all these nuances are explainable, but first of all, that’s been a local tradition for dozens of years, at least we found a picture of it taken in 1964.
They are standing since the ground is still cold, moreover, it is covered with snow. St. Petersburg is the most northern city in the world with more than 1 million inhabitants, after all. They leaned to the walls as the walls are getting heat fast in the sun so they help sunbathers get heated.
They are half-dressed since it’s rather cold. Well, it’s just cold, and we confirm it as it’s us who took this picture on March 5, and we felt frozen!
They are not afraid of the low temperature. It also has its reason. The weather in St. Petersburg is very rainy and unstable. The city enjoys only about 60 sunny days a year. Every sunny day is a mini-festival day here.
Want a local anecdote?
«In the news: the enormous bright sphere in the sky which scared residents of St. Petersburg turned out to be the sun».
Local media reported that one couple was seen to sunbathe at the Peter and Paul fortress on January 20 this year.
So you can ask the final question: why the fortress? We think it’s just a tradition, and there is a city’s beach here (though swimming here is forbidden), no matter that’s currently under snow.
A little Russian extreme entertainment. Just accept it.