This past summer when I returned to Saint Petersburg, I wanted to try some things that I’d not done there previously (such as the communal sauna). Roofing was another such activity I had not attempted during the summer of 2011 when I was living in SPB. Roofers – as they are called – are people who love traipsing across the roof tops of Saint Petersburg; many of the experienced roofers manage to get key access to buildings with roof top entrances. To my knowledge, going up on the roofs is prohibited, but apparently that’s not super important. Our tour guide was Vsevolod. He took us up onto a roof top that was located along the Fontanka canal. As we entered the apartment building corridor, Sevo explained to us that we must be very very quiet while in the building and on the roof top, and we must step carefully on the ridges of the roof, so as to not fall through the thin aluminum roofing. A word of advice for those interesting in taking a roof tour when in Saint Petersburg, if you are afraid of heights (or if you have vertigo), this probably isn’t for you. Also, wearing shoes with good traction is important – the aluminum roof tops can be slippery.
There were two female tourists who also came along and they ended up just sitting on the roof because they did not wear appropriate shoes and were afraid of slipping. Personally, I am not a lover of heights, especially ones I can easily slip on and fall into the streets below; but it was pretty cool and I would definitely do it again, albeit I’d want to go to a different building top. And Sevo was a pro. He definitely knew what he was doing. Somebody caught us all up on the roof and started yelling at us and chasing us to get off the roof (why they were upset, I do not know). We had to make a very quick exit through the dark and rickety attic of the apartment building and Sevo managed to get us all out in the knick of time – something I am sure he is used to having to do. Unfortunately, I am not a good city-scape photographer and I feel my pictures just look like a lot of roof top abstract art, but they still can give you a feel for the old and beautiful architecture of Saint Petersburg. And there are a couple good views of the Fontanka canal and the boats passing through. So, if you are in Saint Petersburg and looking for something different to do, roofing is always an exhilarating option!
Seva — an 18-year-old, iPod- wearing, St. Petersburg tour guide with wild, curly blond hair, a youthful wit, and a subversive edge — quietly leads me and my newfound friend Nastya into an 18th-century, yellow apartment building with a grid of rectangular windows, up five flights of stairs, through a dark attic with a coarse, concrete floor, and across a wooden walkway. Nastya — an ambitious, smart, fashionable, 23-year-old Russian woman working in advertising with a round face and dirty blond hair — has generously agreed to show me around St. Petersburg.
Nastya and I follow Seva toward a blinding light shining through an opening in the slanted roof until we’re climbing a rickety, wooden staircase. Suddenly, we’re standing on the building’s tin roof, looking down at tourist boats cruising under green, arched bridges crossing the murky waters of the Fontanka, flanked by the white, yellow, beige, and red waffle-like fronts of 18th-century buildings. In the distance, I see St. Petersburg’s most well-known landmarks: the golden dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the green, blue, and grey onion domes of the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. “Try to step only on the ridges,” Seva advises as the three of us walk across the roof and then step onto the roof of an adjacent building.
2 Months ago I booked a celebration on the roof. We wanted to throw a party in honour of decade of our firm. Colleagues suggested excellent panoramic roof which without any problems accommodated all of us. I could never think that it is possible to conduct such a global event on the roof.
INROOF organized music, buffet table, balloons. They invited professional photographer and musicians; also the roof was decorated with beautiful flower compositions. To compare with other offers concerning organizing our celebration, INROOF has the best price-quality relationship. Thank you a lot!