Alexander, a German citizen, first met Anna on Valentine’s Day during a break from his studies in Russia’s grand imperial capital St. Petersburg.
She had offered to show him around her home city during his two-week course after they connected on the Couchsurfing platform. As they ate dinner at a Soviet-style restaurant with rugs decorating the walls and went ice skating on an outdoor rink, they talked about their different cultures and dreams for the future — and found themselves falling in love.
“It was all very romantic and beautiful and I knew from the beginning that she was very special to me,” Alexander said. “She later told me she had the same feeling about me…”
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