“September and October are said to be the worst months of the year in Leningrad. A raw, damp wind blows in from the Gulf of Finland, fog and rain follow one another in a depressing succession of days, and everywhere mud and slush lie underfoot. It is often dark in the early afternoon and the cold night continues until nine or ten in the morning.
“But then in November something perfectly wonderful happens: the heavy snow begins. It falls so thickly and so persistently that it blocks the view a few yards ahead, and sometimes in the course of a single night the whole city is transformed. The mud vanishes and the gold spires and colored cupolas now stand out against a background of dazzling whiteness. There is a kind of joy in the air. The temperature may stand well below zero, but in this dry sparkling atmosphere people get rid of their coughs and colds at last and can afford to smile. Traditionally, this used to be the moment when the droshky drivers exchanged their carriages for sleds and the coachmen, their beards frozen stiff, drove their horses along the quays at a tremendous pace. Out on the Neva workmen began to lay tramway tracks across the water to the islands and the Vyborg side.”
— Alan Moorehead, The Russian Revolution