The future Nicholas II was twenty-five years old in 1894 when he wrote the following in his diary:
‘In the [Anichkov] garden all is as before: the skating rink and the snow mounds were ready, even a little square made out of snow in order to look out through the fence at the Nevsky’. ‘Around 3:30 I went with Xenia to Aunt Mikhen’s. We found Mama and Papa there. For the first time I began to walk freely around the embankment [near the Winter Palace] with Xenia, where we met a number of people we knew’ and ‘I went into the garden with Sergei. We looked more at the Nevsky through the railing’ .[Thursday January 6th, Friday January 7th, and Tuesday January 25th].