|The sun setting along the Neva River in St. Petersburg at 11:30 p.m.|
St. Petersburg is celebrating the White Nights Festival, a festival of artistic performances at theaters around the city that celebrate the fact that St. Petersburg never really gets dark during the peak of the summer.
|The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg|
We celebrated with an opera -- Khovanshchina -- at the historic Mariinsky Theatre. We arrived early in anticipation of the show and to admire the beautiful theater.
|Sara reading the program in our seats at the Mariinsky Theatre|
To our surprise, we noticed in the program that the opera would last five hours! We already had plans to return for dinner at Zoom Cafe, a favorite from the previous night. But dinner at 11:30 p.m. wasn't going to happen, so we had to choose between the whole show and M&Ms for dinner or half of the show and a fun dinner out. After the first two acts (over two hours) we made our decision and dashed out of the theater in time for dinner at Zoom.
|At Zoom Cafe toasting a fun dinner and a good decision to bolt out of the opera a bit early!|
While we enjoyed the performance and really enjoyed seeing the theater, our favorite part of the White Nights Festival was the actual white nights. It was amazing to watch sunset at 11:30 p.m. and to walk in twilight after 1:00 a.m. It is tough to get to sleep at a reasonable hour when it never gets dark!