Having missed the once-in-three-hours train to the Tula region this morning by literally two minutes, my sister and I decided to not let the 30C-weather, and packed swimsuits and a picnic go to waste, and make it a beach day.
By the virtue of being situated on the Moscow River, Moscow has several decent, public transport-accessible river beaches right around the city periphery and in the near Podmoskovye (the suburbs and countryside surrounding Moscow), especially to the city’s north-west, before the south-east flowing river absorbs all the ‘flavors’ of the Russian capital.
The beach we chose, Rublyovo, is a public pay beach that is completely fenced off from the surrounding area. The fairly well-kept grounds include boat and catamaran rentals, water skis, water slides, playgrounds and a couple of restaurants. Because it’s an official ‘recreation area’ (FYI, there are plenty of non-official free-for-all ones around), some rules and regulations apply.
It’s all pretty standard stuff like ‘no dogs allowed’ and ‘no glass containers’ – and of course, the drinking and smoking regulations, specifically: ‘consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited within the recreation area.’
What really amused me was a special note on beer – the full text of the sign on the right actually reads: ‘FORBIDDEN: the drinking of alcoholic beverages INCLUDING BEER on the beach territory (in accordance with the Federal Law #…..).’
Because in Russia, OF COURSE you have to specify that beer is an alcoholic beverage, and not a soft drink.
Clearly the authorities were taking this whole ‘no drinking’ thing really seriously because there was a second poster that highlighted the fact that alcohol consumption, INCLUDING BEER was STRICTLY forbidden:
So naturally, as soon as we step on the beach, what do we see all around us?
Yup, basically everyone was imbibing, and very openly, at that. Furthermore, as we were leaving, we passed by a snack stand – very much within the beach enclosure – that was selling draft beers.
I don’t mind, really. I just wish someone offered me a cold one.