Russian winter

Very often… No, actually, all the time people keep asking me, how it is, to be Russian:

– Do you drink vodka? – Of course, all the day. I start my day from a shot of vodka and then take it in a thermos instead of coffee.

– Is it called during the summer? Sure, if you may say “cold” when it is +35 outside and the asphalt is melting.

– Is it extremely cold during the winter? Actually, yes. But only several weeks per winter.

To be honest, I prefer to have -20 and the low humidity than +5 and freezing because of the cold wind and high humidity. In my home town, Togliatti, the climate is extremely continental. That means all the seasons are well marked and have their character. There is snow and frost during the winter, but the summer is hot. Since it is already three years since I go to Togliatti during winter season only I will show you my town in snow and tell you, what ordinary Russians do during these 6 month of cold.

The white frost on the trees makes the forest looks like a Disney fairytale.

The birch is another symbol of Russia, together with samovar, vodka and brown bear

Winter berries.

We do a lot of sport. For example, the country ski is the type of sport which every single person in Togliatti used to do at least when he/ she went to school. Nowadays you may see a lot of people during the weekend doing country ski in  the forest.

We do snow cycling. It is a lot of fun and a bit of extreme.

Almost every apartment block has it own skating rink. I used to spent my evenings on this one when I was a school girl.

We do snow balloon and yes, we wear valenki – the boots made of felt which are very warm and resistant to snow.

Of course, the river is covered by ice and snow, which gives us opportunity to practice snow kite, jeep safari on ice or just go for a day-long trekking.

There are 2 meters of ice and 5 meters of water beneath me

A man without a shadow. The opposite side of Volga river is in 10 kilometres. When it is clear you may easily see houses on the right bank of the river.

Some people like fishing and especially ice fishing.

The process…

…and the catch!

You need an equipment like this ice drill to make the hole in the 2-meter thick ice.

Indeed, it can be very cold, so iPhone refuses to work.

When it is not so cold we entertain ourselves with the carousel

Or taking a walk in the forest.

Winter BBQ with friends and family is our favourite entertainment.

The little ones love sleds.

Here is my forest, where I know every path and tree and where I used to do ski, cycling, trekking or jogging for almost 20 years of my life. I am in love with this place!