Sunday, 8 July 2012

sunday walking

Finally did the walk along the Moskva River embankment, something I have wanted to do all my time in Moscow. Started from the Kotelnicheska Embankment building - one of Stalins 'seven sisters' skyscraper buildings (thanks to staying there with the endlessly generous N + I) - on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon. Then strolled past the Kremlin to Ostozhenka ( a district nicknamed the Golden Mile and home to both wealthy mansions and some good contemporary architecture).

The only problem, besides the incessant drone of traffic, is actually finding a way to get onto the riverside path itself. There seems to be only one underpass on the whole stretch. And the only alternative is a weird zebra crossing arrangement where you go half-way across one crossing, and then have to wait in the middle, in order to go via another crossing set at right angles to this one, whilst the cars zoom past curving either to your left or your right. Me and a young Russian guy both hovered at this mid-way point, unsure whether we wanted to risk our lives. And - as at other times when I have tried to cross a Moscow road - he followed the safety-in-numbers attitude, by grabbing my arm and hauling me out into the traffic...before the lights had changed. I tried to hang back, gesticulating wildly at the lights, but he took an even firmer grip, yelling 'Together, or I will die', and across we went with cars careering around us and hooting madly. 

And then, when we got to the river itself, he wanted, of course, to walk with me and practice his english.

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