Russia’s Golden Autumn always passes far too quickly, and then the Endless Winter sets in. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably have picked up on the fact that my biggest grumble with Russian winters isn’t the weather — or the cold, to be more specific. It’s the oppressing grayness.
In the last month I have traveled to six different European countries, and what struck me, in all of them, was how much foliage their landscapes boast until practically the Christmas hols. Not so in central Russia — the trees and shrubs are bare by late October. Yet, probably to a surprise of many a foreigner, this does not mean the onset of snowy Winter Wonderland. In fact, during the winter months it is becoming increasingly common for Moscow to experience weeks and even months of harsh, negative-teens temperature and heavy gray clouds with nary a snowflake in sight.
Which is why I am so delighted by this year’s surprisingly early appearance of outdoor decorations. I am not talking shopping-motivating store-fronts and thematic Yolka trees, but regular parks and alleys, which started getting brightened up by myriads of shimmering lights in the last week of October. Just what a gray Moscow winter needs.
Tverskoy Boulevard with lights trickling down like a snowy waterfall
Shimmering Cafe Pushkin