You might be wondering what that slide show is in the banner. Those are the last nine pictures I uploaded to Flickr. At the time I originally wrote this post, they were pictures from my trip to St. Petersburg, Russia in June/July 2006, now shown below. View the progression of sunset beginning at midnight on July 6: [gallery link="file"]
When I first arrived in St. Petersburg in early June, the sun "set" around 2:00 a.m. (more of a twilight than a setting), and was back at it by 3:00 a.m. By the beginning of July, twilight started around midnight, with some near-darkness around 2:30 in the morning that lasted a couple of hours.
The pictures were taken on my last night there. My roommate and I took the metro to Finland Station from our Lesnoy Prospekt flat to see the bridges rise on the Neva. The last bridge finished rising around 2:45 a.m. The metro had stopped running for the night, so we walked back to the flat in the grey semi-darkness. That walk continues to appear in different guises in my books. (Right now, it's doing a stint as a walk in the underworld.) So many memories from that trip I will always cherish, but that last, quiet walk, knowing I was leaving for the US in the morning and might never see the White Nights again...that will stay with me forever.