From the 19th century majesty of the city centre to the space-age feel of Krestovsky Stadium’s and England and Croatia’s soothing rural retreats, St Petersburg has already proved a visually striking World Cup host.
You’ve no excuse to miss anything worth looking at in the world’s northernmost city with a population over one million, as darkness never truly descents during its famous “White Nights”.
The Scarlet Sails festival is a highlight of this season and the River Neva was illuminated by a stunning Saturday night firework display.
Over on Krestovsky Island, the Brazil fans brought a samba party as their idol burst into tears, while Iran’s proud and vociferous female fans were a picture of joyous, inspirational defiance even before their team claimed a shock win over Morocco.
Mohamed Salah’s tournament flickered painfully and briefly against the rampant hosts, but having two of the tournament’s form teams an hour north towards the Finnish border is helping to keep the feel-good factor going.
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