Living in St P from 1992-99 was a real adventure. A beautiful city, but the weather was typical of a far northern swamp. Countless visits to the Hermitage. Footsteps of Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment". Architecture to dwarf the soul and then exalt it. Beyond that, soul-destroying concrete jungle, only the interiors of apartments betraying their inhabitants' personalities. I loved it and was prepared to stay for much more than the 7 years I had - but all the time the Caucasus was pulling my attention south as well.