Here is the view from the bridge I walk over on my way to the market--It has locks on this river to allow big tug boats and such--it's beautiful isn't it. The sad thing is that over 1,000 people have drowned in the rivers around Moscow this summer trying to escape the heat. It is a combination of not knowing how to swim and drunkenness.
As some of you may have read in the news--Moscow has had a record breaking hot summer--hotter than any before in history--go figure. We were told before we came that last summer it rarely got over the 80s--that it was in the 60s and 70s a lot. July is also one of the wettest months--so when we packed our suitcases we didn't quite plan on this weather!! We still haven't got our shipment(though we found out it arrived in Moscow last Friday!!--so maybe in
a week or two we may have it) --anyway--we don't have a lot of "summer wear". Last week Bob read that the air quality was 10 times the dangerous level. Not so great to go out in--but last Thursday night the wind blew and it helped blow a lot of it out, but this morning it smelled of smoke again. I guess there are a lot of forest and peat fires outside of Moscow--so the smell and smog is from them. We are out of milk and food--so I will need to walk to the market still.
The top picture is from a cathedral in St Sergei Pasaud--the next of Bob and I at the July 4th celebration at the American Ambassador's residence in Moscow.
Last Saturday night we went to a ballet--Gazel(sp?). The Bolshoi is closed for renovation--so it was at another theater by there and with a second tier dancing group. They had a live orchestra and the 2 leads were very good--the only problem was that there was no air conditioning--every one was fanning themselves vigorously and I felt so bad for the dancers---wow--it was so--so hot! I am embarrassed to say that we left at intermission--we --in our less than "summer wear" couldn't take it. Shopping isn't that great here--it is very expensive--so we keep on waiting for our shipment.
Most the time the way to get around Moscow is the Metro. It is a bit out of date and loud--but some of the stations are really beautiful. They have murals and carvings, chandeliers and such. There still is a lot of walking done here--but the metro is usually the fastest way to get around.
The traffic can be pretty horrendous and the drivers--I can't compare to any that I have seen--maybe 10 times worse than NY taxi drivers!! If traffic is going slow--motorbikes and cars will speed up in between the lanes, off on the sides--over on the sidewalks--wherever they can find a hole--and I mean hole!! Very aggressive drivers.