Saturday, July 23, 2011

The joys of dacha season.

It is really common for Russians to have dachas or summer homes. Dachas I am told will range from glorified gardening shed to palatial homes. Many Russians will head out of town in the summer and spend the weekends at their dacha. One of the many side benefits for us non-dacha people is there are fewer people in the city. Traffic is significantly lighter. This makes going to one of the many parks a bit further out from the center of the city so much easier to do.

Last Sunday after Alex and I make a quick grocery run (also in record time thanks to dacha season), the family piled in the car and went Yelagin Island. Yelagin Island is one of the many islands in the Neva delta. The island is a large park with boat rentals, a small zoo, cafes, and lots of greenery to stroll around in. There was a nice playground there that ended up consuming most of our morning. Zoltan was thrilled to sit in the little car and bounce, while Alex showed us her excellent climbing skills.

After the kids got out some energy we stopped at a cafe for lunch. During our lunch one of the friendly ducks of the park waddled its way over to our table to get its share of the lunch. Alex was quite excited to share her bread with the duck. Following lunch the weather started to turn toward the rainy side so we headed back home to beat the rain and get the kids down for naps.

Thanks to the wonderful traffic during the summer we were home in no time and both children got their naps.

* Edited to add: we returned this Saturday for a lengthier tour of the island, once again transiting in record time. Useful to know is that if you get there early enough on the weekend, the usual entrance fee is not collected.

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