Monday, June 3, 2013

city day and the great green massacre of summer's advent

A week ago Friday Daria and I went to see "Swan Lake" at the ballet. It was a good way to precede the holiday weekend for день города or "City Day." A proper Russian ballet at the proper SPB theatre followed by a nice walk along Griboedova Canal with the white night. For the holiday weekend itself there were lots of festivities around the city, decorations on Nevskiy Prospekt, and overall just a lot of fun to be had. For those of you who are from my home town, it reminded me of Carson Valley Days without the parade. For those of you who are not, perhaps your town celebrates its birth or maybe your state does (it also reminded me of Nevada Day).

Around the square/park of Catherine the Great there was "the Ice-cream Festival" and although there were a few other booths, it was mainly ice-cream and apparently Petrholod (in English we might say Peter-Ice, although it's literally Peter-Cold) was the favored as there were long lines there and practically none at other booths/carts. At Peter and Paul Fortress was a small medieval festival/market, and unrelated helicopter rides for those who wished to pay to fly over the city for 15 minutes, and a stage on which kids did various dances or acrobatic tricks (also not medieval). Overall it was a fun day, perhaps topped when Daria crowned herself with a dandy-lion crown.

Speaking of flowers, the lilacs smell wonderful. So do some of the others, but the lilacs are definitely a pleaser.

And perhaps I was wrong in my last post about people only publicly peeing late at night. On Mars Field a week ago Sunday a guy definitely walked up to a large bush. In the middle of last week, on a walk with Karma I witnessed another. Both of those were midday. Although the former I blame on holiday celebrations and the latter seemed like a city or construction worker near a construction site where there isn't a port-a-potty.

Last Wednesday was my last day with my company class. They took me to lunch after our class was over and we had a nice 3 hour lunch in a Ukrainian restaurant. Aside from various platters of local cuisine and a spread made from sala (pig fat), garlic and herbs, we had самогон, known in the US as moonshine. Of course this was best chased with pickles, pickled mushrooms, slices of fish, and various other things. They were a good class and I will miss them. I do mean it when I say I was blessed with all my students because I know other teachers weren't so fortunate.

This past weekend Daria and I started with a small picnic in Tavricheskiy Sad. I no longer go to work on Friday's over there, but we went to the park, picked up some sandwiches and sat in the shade enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Many other people had similar ideas at the park was full of people sunbathing, playing badminton, reading, just a regular stroll, and whatever else one could think of. It was a pleasant day to be out and even though it was Friday, there was no shortage of people. I ended Friday with another business workshop. It was fun, but nothing noteworthy.

The real excitement for the weekend came with heading to the dachas (my first time out at them since last fall). On Saturday we went to Lisiy Nos, enjoyed some delicious food with Daria's grandma (although it wasn't from her garden since it's a little early for what's planted to have grown ripe for picking). We also went to the beach, did our own sunbathing, waded out into the Gulf (which is extremely shallow - a good 1/2 km or more and still only ankle deep), and just enjoyed the day. At the dacha itself we maybe killed about a million mosquitos although they did their fair amount of damage to us too, and I was in charge of weed-whacking a large amount of weeds (hence the great green massacre as that was what I thought while I did it).

Daria spent the night while I caught a train back to the city because I had to preach again on Sunday morning (my second and last sermon here). I didn't think it was that great, but the congregation seemed to like it and were talking about it and a visitor originally from the Netherlands but working in Germany talked to me for about 20 minutes after about many things he liked.

After church I caught a train to the other dacha and Daria took bus and train since we had to catch Nadia's 2nd birthday party. It was wonderful to be back out in Gorkovskoe again too. Honestly the number of people made for the perfect party and the shashlik (BBQ) was good with a nice summer salad and ended with a fantastic rhubarb pie. Mmmmmmm (got some for breakfast this morning too). We went to the pond for a bit for the kids to play and the adults to relax. Walked a little around the neighborhood and although we didn't originally plan on spending the night, we took a little extra time with Olya and Nadia before they head to the Black Sea for 6 weeks (while Vova stays to work) and they return right before we leave for the US. Since the dacha wasn't totally ready for spending the night we had to quickly throw things together. While they aren't cold the nights are much cooler there than here in the city which was very pleasant compared to the sun beating down through the window (with sunrise at 4.40am so light entering earlier than that).

Oh and I've meant to post it for a while, but summer definitely came as the canals and rivers are teeming with boats.
So I wanted to give you all a taste of spring in Tavricheskiy Sad. These were taken about 10 days ago Friday. I avoided people in most of those I posted.

And here is Nevsky with some banners for City Day.

Daria and lilacs in front of Kazanskiy. If you look close in the upper right you can see the X P starting Хпристос Воскресе that I mentioned a couple weeks ago.

And the stage set up in Palace Square.

Only one side of Peter and Paul. Much more on all sides.

From Peter and Paul you can see people enjoying the nice weather and boating on the Neva. Behind is the Hermitage and St. Isaac's.

And Daria starting her dandylion crown with the Cathedral of Peter and Paul in the background (Cathedral is inside the Fortress).

And the finished product.

It was worn as we walked across the bridge.

And was continued to be worn until we got to the Eternal Flame in Mars Field where it found a resting place.

Savior on Spilled Blood (and some lilacs).

A closer view of some of the street decorations.

These little flowers are at Gorkovskoe dacha and will be blueberries in a short while.

And these white ones outside the front door will be strawberries.

And there's our dacha nestled away in the woods.

If you follow the rabbit hole (the dark spot in the middle), it's a trail under the trees that leads to the pond.

And here is the pond.

And Daria, Olya, other adults and the kids playing.

A view of what the sky looks like at 12.45am at Gorkovskoe.

And to end with some flowers lining the railway (on the other side of the fence) we take to the dacha.

No comments:

Post a Comment