March 8th is the International Women’s Day. In Russia it is also an unofficial start of Spring. The reason for this association is probably the custom of giving flowers to all the women in one’s life – family, romantic, platonic, professional. The resulting abundance of blooms everywhere screams “Spring Is in the Air!”
In reality, March 8th is still the dead of winter in Russia. Tired of being cooped up in my room/my office for weeks due to “bad weather,” I ventured out to my favorite Moscow park, Kolomenskoye. Behold, Springtime in Moscow:
I fared a little better the following weeks, when I visited the sprawling park that is part of the Moscow Botanical Gardens. It was still just as cold and snow-covered, mind you, but the sun was out, making everything that much cheerier:
Bottom line: March might not be the best time for nature walks in and around Moscow. If you go (and I always will, because I believe a good walk cures many ills), be prepared for freezing rain mixed with snow, roads covered simultaneously with puddles and sheets of ice, and any kind of temperature from -15C to +15C. Who’s with me?