The weather so far that morning had been cooler with a few raindrops here and there, enough so that I had been concerned during the walk to Park Severnoye Tushino that I’d neglected to bring a jacket. The long walk had sufficiently warmed me up though, so I hardly gave the weather a thought during the metro ride back into the city—all of which was, of course, underground.
You could say my heart sank when we emerged and I saw the soaked steps leading out of the station. A symphony of shoe soles squeaked on slick stone as the umbrellas of those with more foresight than I bobbed overhead.
What else was there to do but hug my exposed arms in to my sides and trudge up the stairs toward credits that were most assuredly, most definitely, without a doubt, 100% completely closed?
Moscow metro stations have various entrance and exit points. Nine times out of ten, we chose the wrong exit, finding ourselves on the wrong side of some twelve lane highway (twelve being, of course, the minimum number of lanes required for all roads in the Moscow metropolitan area). Fortunately, Victory Park is located adjacent to the station, which meant we had this handy sign to eliminate the guesswork that invariably ended in one of us cursing the fact that we had to double back.
Victory Park was established in the 1960s as an outdoor museum to commemorate the 1812 Russian triumph over Napoleon. The photo above is of the Square of Victors; the tall, pointy object is an obelisk topped by Nike, the Greek goddess of victory and behind it is an indoor museum dedicated to Russia’s involvement in World War II.
But who cares about history lessons of war and triumph and valor and sacrifice? There was a Big Apple nearby!
Knowing there was no way any rides would be operating in the present conditions, we tried to keep under the trees to minimize exposure to the rain. Obviously, this led to the shenanigans one can expect from five adults with the collective sense of humor of a 12 year old.
The rain got heavier and we eventually had to seek out the awning of a nearby snack cart for cover. As the minutes passed with no sign of it letting up, it was hard not to feel a little discouraged, bored and hungry.
Isn’t that right, completely licensed Shre…wait.
Twenty five or so minutes later, holding the most freezer burnt ice cream cone I have ever had the displeasure to call lunch, we made a go of it with the rain now only a sporadic drizzle.
The amusement area is at the bottom of a hill. It wasn’t difficult to find, but it didn’t take long to see this had “no chance in hell” written all over it.
Yeah, don’t think so.
Definitely don’t think so.
It was while photographing the Big Apple that Tal and George noticed a security guard nearby the Dodgems and waved him over. I stood back and watched their exchange. I couldn’t hear a word, but I do know what the universal facial expression is for “fuck off.”
I was starting to form the impression that this place might be SBNO, but before we could get a better look, we hastened toward the shelter of the trees as the rain started again. The next fifteen minutes were spent debating this, wondering if that security guard was about to teach us lessons of war and triumph and valor and sacrifice of his own, and the pros and cons of making a run through the rain to the metro station since we weren’t getting any drier standing where we were.
If I say I felt victorious as I rushed through the metro entrance (because that’s what this is; figured I’d clarify since I’m sure you were confused as to why it seemed there was suddenly a photo of an art museum in here) and felt the heat of the trains smooth away my goosebumps, does that still count as partaking in the Victory Park experience?