…But unlike in Game of Thrones, autumn is pleasant in Moscow.
After feeling like I really put my nose to the grindstone these last few days, I took the entire day today to get outdoors and enjoy the sun. This was especially important as the weather predictions herald increased chill, wind and rain to come in the next week, and the weather has just caused the leaves on all of the trees to change colour.
Which is gorgeous.
Although Moscow annoyingly likes to sweep up all of the leaves on the side-walk, you can find havens of autumnal joy, with the swishing of leaves underfoot, in some of the more ‘wild’ parks- I chose the botanical gardens as my retreat. Wandering through the trees, avoiding paths heavily populated by people, I had a lovely time simply being by myself, taking many, deep breaths of clean air, and enjoying the sun. I found my first wild (red) squirrel, a tree that had been skewered by a fence (see picture, it looks bizarre), and a lot of time to ‘centre myself’ as a yogi might say.
The Botanical gardens lead on to VDNKh, which opened up before me like a welcome friend, and was packed in comparison to our midweek visit. I ambled, and decided to pay a visit to the Cosmonaut museum on my way home.
I rejoiced at the free student entry for Russian students (and the fact that I count as a Russian student), and then stared at pictures, models, replicas and actual parts of the USSR’s/Russian’s space program. The only facts I remembered from school, namely that the first female astronaut was Russian and that the Russians also sent dogs into space, turned out to be true, and I got to admire both a portrait of Valentina, and the stuffed dogs that had returned from their ‘Guinea pig’ run (and, hope, lived a full life after the ordeal- I also got to see their ‘space ship’ and it was cramped!).
As the weather is changing, I’m aiming to go to another park tomorrow- and spend as much time outside as possible while I still dare!