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This time I'll try to post here fresh winter pictures before the cold season is over and we are again facing colorful beauties of springtime. I do realize that it looks a bit weird to offer "Summertime fun" as the latest update in the middle of winter when I should be demonstrating famous Russian snow and cold.
Most interesting and spectacular places are located north of Moscow. For example, famous Golden Ring of Russia all sits up there. But that's a well-known tourist attraction, while the most interesting discoveries are waiting off the beaten paths and roads. If you drive through well-known Sergiev Posad and keep going northwest, in a few hours you'll arrive to Uglich, an old Russian city on the banks of Volga river. The city itself is not very spectacular, most of its architectural treasures were destroyed after the revolution when a big reservoir covered most of the ancient city area with Volga waters. The bell-tower in the middle of still waters reminds of the days and places that are gone forever.
Before leaving Uglich for the hidden treasures of Myshkin, you may want to visit the place recently opened but already attracting lots of young students from almost all Russia. It's a museum of folklore and tales - and here you will see all these starnage characters: from living corpses to mermaids and fortune-tellers...
The most popular is the Museum of Mouse (the name of Myshkin is derived from a Russian word mysh that means mouse). Hundreds of man-made mice from around the planet do look impressive… But the real jewel is the local historical museum where enthusiasts have collected items of different centuries, decades and walks of life. Old firemen's gear and hand-made glass, pottery and weapons, clothes and toys… Every single thing show how much people of Myshkin love their land and their history.
And, finally, you will enjoy the museum of valenok, a unique Russian winter footwear made of heavy felt-like substance produced from sheep wool. It's very practical - but in the museum a visitor will see that valenok may be the not just a utility, but a piece of art - if creative mind and hands are applied. All of sudden a trivial valenok becomes a fashionable purse, or a statue, or a toy, or a wall decoration.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places in Moscow - or very close to it - where one can enjoy the beauty of first winter decorations, strange shapes of ice, snow and cold hazy air.
Okay, time to finish the story, the last one of the year of 2003. Three pictures in a row below are, as often on my pages, a random selection. In the first misty one you see a place some 90 kilometers south of Moscow where the Moskva river ends by joining the Oka river. Not a very charming place, actually, since it is located on an industrial outskirts of Kolomna city… Still, it's somewhat interesting. Then you see a typical photo of a winter Moscow park on a weekend: fun for everyone :-)
And, finally, one more photo from the skiing slopes - at this one, 50 kilometers north of Moscow, we were meeting New Year of 2004 on the night of December 31. There are no mountains around Moscow - but lots of locations for skiing, because we really love that winter activity!
See you soon again at these pages! First sory of the year 2004 is already available.
Andrey - firstname.lastname@example.org
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