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St Petersburgh in January


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Any one been to St Petersburgh in January?


We (me and the Mrs) are heading home to the UK for Christmas next year, but want to make the most of the long journey from Oz and make a long weekend trip somewhere. I love the winter, and have always wanted to visit Russia and have it on authority from a real Russian that St Petersburgh is worth visiting over Moscow. However I have heard that Russians celebrate Christmas on the 6th January as they are still on the old Orthodox calender, and therefore everything shuts down for the first 2 weeks in Jan, which is when we want to go!


Is it worth us going, or would we be better off going to somewhere else like Oslo or Berlin?


The Mrs has already agreed (admitedly jokingly) that she will let me get her a fur coat if we went to Russia! So naturally I am biased already, although I reckon it would be expensive buying in the city there. Any experience of this? Other wise I was thinking of asking Mailon Furs to make me something, as she has seen a few sheared minks that she likes with Sable or non-sheared mink collars that I have showed on ebay and other sites. She is not such a fan of the bigger foxes or Lynx unfortunatly, as she is a cat lover and thinks Lynx looks too much cat like, fairly logically.


Any travel advice on Russia and Northern Europe in early January is appreciated.


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Based on the street fur photos and videos I have seen, I would strongly advise you to consider Milan, Prague or St Moritz.


For Prague, check these photo galleries by Tomas Goldenfox:




and this one in general: http://www.facebook.com/media/albums/?id=100002502335866

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We wanted to go somewhere that neither of us has been before. As we have only been together for 5 years, and are both 33 years old with a love of travel, we have already covered a lot of European cities.

The wife is from Slovakia and has been to Praque many times, although I have not. The photos are great though, and I would love to go there.

Been to Milan, but would go back,

And St Moritz is way too expensive for a humble tug boat deckhand like me. Return lights to the UK have prettuy much stripped us as it is!


Keep the suggestions coming.

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For St Moritz, a friend had suggested staying at Innsbruck, Austria and travelling to St Moritz on daytrips. It's 191 kms and according to Google takes about 2 and a half hours by car. He said there are more flights to Innsbruck than to St Moritz, and it is considerably cheaper to stay there. This proposition becomes even more attractive if you can time your visit with White Turf snow polo tournament, admittedly the greatest fur gathering in the world!


Another point, if money is a bit tight, I think St Petersburg is one of the most expensive cities in Europe...

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Innsbruck definitly sounds like a possability, will certainly look into it a bit more.

Unfotunatly the white turf event is in Feb, which we would miss as we can only get leave in Jan. I think it may be a bit too much to ask of the wife to spend a whole weekend watching horses and girls in furs, neither of which particularly interest her, and only one of which interests me!

But Ausrtria I had not really thought of, as i know very little about it. Will look into it more.


Anyone been up to Scandinavia in winter time?

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I can recommend Moscow if you want a high volume of furs in January. And I imagine St Petersburg would have a similarly high volume. You want to maximise the probability of it being really, really cold, and I think you achieve that in Russia. And Russians love fur. In central Europe, whilst it's likely to be cold in January, it's not guaranteed to be really cold. I went to Berlin in January a couple of years ago and it remained above freezing the entire time.


If you went to the mountains, whether it was St Moritz or elsewhere, it would be colder, but I don't know how prevalent furs are in ski resorts. St Moritz itself is a very small town. As has been mentioned, the volume of furs certainly increases during the White Turf, and unfortunately you can't be there for that.


In Switzerland generally, they are anti-fur. Most of those wearing furs in St Moritz are foreigners. I spoke to someone online who lives in Zurich and he says they tend to go for down jackets over fur. I visited Zurich in February and there weren't many furs on view. Though there is a high-end shopping area where you will see a few.


It's a similar situation in Scandinavia, certainly in Sweden and Finland. That seems bizarre in Finland, given that country is the source of a lot of top quality pelts, and my experience is based on visiting Helsinki, which is at the southern tip of the country. Maybe if you went further north there would be more furs.


I don't know about Austria. Photographic evidence seems to suggest Prague is a rich hunting ground for fur sightings. I think Italians, the Spanish, French and Germans are more fur loving.


Have you seen the posts by the Fourrure Club? They hold an annual "convention" in January in France. Usually at the end of the month. A group of European fur lovers get together in a big country house with a load of furs. Not sure whether that would be your wife's cup of tea, though.

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I think I might be leaning towards Paris.


Had not originally considered it as an option, but alot of the cities further North are very dark at that time of year, if we went to the mountains I would want to stay and ski and we have limited time, so a city break is ideal. St Moritz is too expensive, and Paris is lovely. I have not been since I was a school kid on a trip, so ythink that it would be lovely and romantic in early January, and as elbas says, the French are pretty fur friendly so there will be lots of ladies in fur I hope. Although, there will be a lot of tourists I imagine, but still hope to get a fur for the wife. If not, atleast a furry hat.


Also, the travel is so easy on the Eurostar train straight from London in just the same time it takes to even check in for an international flight. What can be more romantic than Paris in winter, hopefully with some snow. France had a great winter for snow this year, friends were still skiing powder in the Alps 1 week ago.


As far as the Fourrure club meet goes, it would be a real treat for me, but I think the wife would be a bit freaked out by it

This is all still a long way off, January 2014, but half the fun is in he planning of a holiday.

Thanks for all your suggestions,


999 xxx

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