Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gorky Park

Yesterday we visited the famous Gorky Park in the heart of Moscow. We went with two sets of senior missionaries.
Gorky Park is the place where Russians go to escape the city life. It is a place to go and enjoy lounging in the grass, playing sports, listening to entertainment, boating, roller blading, bicycling...a place to just have fun away from city traffic and the confines of small apartments and steaming sidewalks.
Here is Jeannie Pierson, Barb Sutton and Carolyn Pierson.
Just having fun at Gorky Park together with our sweethearts

We knew when we went here that this was a park for Russian families, not so much for tourists. As we walked along the Moscow River and observed the different activities, we definitely felt the difference.
There were huge orange bean bag chairs where many were resting, reading and snoozing in the shady grass. We came upon a race where the individuals were rollerblading but they were using poles like when one is cross-country skiing. They were flying!
There were families enjoying a ride in canopy-covered buggies that were driven by a man pedaling. We saw young families pushing baby strollers, babies learning to walk in the grass, toddling from one parent to another on wobbly legs, large sprinkler systems where little ones were screaming in delight as they played in the cool water. We saw a large stage where entertainers were singing or dancing. I wonder if this is where the Beatles performed so many years ago. There have been quite a few famous entertainers perform here.

This is the Blizzard. It is a prototype of the Blizzard, which was Russia's answer to the space shuttle. However, the Blizzard was never used, as the hangar in which it was housed, collapsed on it and another one was never built. If you look closely at it, it looks like it has a face. :)

There were paddle boats on the water and little cafes and restaurants sprinkled along the walkways, mingled with ice cream carts available with a cool treat or cold water or soda.
We stopped to rest our feet (it was hot and we walked a long way) at a rollerblading park. We sat on benches and watched the young people on bikes and skates perform and do tricks on the jumps. It was fun watching them work on their techniques. They sure were working up a sweat, but were having a great time.
The full name of the park is Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure. It was nice to see the Russian people truly relaxing and just having fun.
We enjoyed being together with our wonderful couples, Ken and Carolyn Pierson who will be leaving for home in July and work with the single adult program here in Moscow. AND the new Pierson's, Dick and Jeannie, who will be working in CES also (Church Education System).
It was a nice day and we topped it off by going to a very nice mall which has a great food court where we all had dinner.
After a fun day together at Gorky Park, getting acquainted with
one set of Piersons (on the right) and getting ready to
say goodbye to another set of Piersons :( ,
we enjoyed dinner out at a really nice food court in a
very nice mall off Kievskaya metro stop.
What a blessing good friends are. and to think
we never would have met Ken and Carolyn Pierson
if we hadn't come on a mission to Moscow Russia!

Gorky Park has been opened since 1928 and has gone through a lot of changes over the years. I think it is wonderful that there is a place to go and get away from it all for a little while. Remember, there are millions of people in Moscow and most of them live in apartments. What a nice break to have this lovely park to go to, summer or winter (ice skating is a favorite activity in the winter) and just play and have fun!!

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