This tall cactus is not an ordinary plant. It grows in a greenhouse of Saint-Petersburg Botanical Garden and survived the terrible years of the Siege of Leningrad. That time the botanists dying from hunger and cold without any facilities like heating system, water or electricity were able to save 250 sorts of plants. Workers put on a Ribbon of Saint George to celebrate the strength of both people&plants.
More about what was the Siege of Leningrad here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Leningrad
We met this beaver near the cemetery where thousands of Lenigrade Siege victims lie in mass graves. It's a peaceful place now, but long ryes of hillocks reminds people how many lives that war took. There are also a professor's grave of the Art Academy (Ivan Bilibin died from hunger too en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Bilibin) and a kid's grave without names.
Mothers with kids, older people and workers from neighborhood enjoy themselves on the riverbank between two parts of a cemetery. Kids observe the beaver, peacefully crossing the river, young couples feed ducks. It's a place where terrible past and peaceful present meet.