Farewell to Slavianka

June 7, 2013. It's nearly 11 o'clock at night, but completely light outside.

White nights in the St. Petersburg area. 

We are leaving Catherine's Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, having been wined and entertained (as I wrote earlier ) by a classical concert and a petite lady in red making an occasional appearance--and the walls of the great palatial hall shake with her operatic shrieks competing with a nightingale. 

Like this

It's always the tiny ones, isn't it? 


As I walk toward the gate, I am using my telephoto lens to shoot closeups of imperial heraldry over the palace with the dual-headed eagle and the black-gold-and-white flag.

Then I hear it. One of my favorite military marches!

The trumpeters who greeted us as we entered are now saying "goodbye" with, well, Farewell to Slavianka. The latter is an imperial-turned-Soviet march that now exists in numerous instrumental, vocal, and lyrical varieties. 

So when you look at the image below, this is what you should hear. Well, perhaps, you should envision a tank, too. And a bear, to make it extra-Russian!