Travel Russia News February 2021

Spring is close and hopefully will bring changes for the better! We are pleased to say life here is almost normal. From February all studenst are back to universities, museums are open now, cafes and restaurants operate at nights, theatres and cinema houses offer 75% of the seats (compared to recently 50%) and mass vaccination is in full swing with 2 vaccines. The 3d one will be released late March. The infected people numbers are 2 times lower than in December and we see a steady decrease by 1000 pax each week - that allowed authorities to make a very careful forecast of zero cases increase in May - fingers crossed.

Helen Isaeva

From Russia with Frost and Sun

Russia ski track We have unusually cold and snowy winter this year! Some regions including Moscow had record in temperatures for the latest 40 years! In spite of that Russians love winter and enjoy winter sports and hobbies out doors very much! And we would like to share some of them with you.
Locals are fond of cross country skiing - at weekends in the parks and forests. On February 13 annual sport event "Russia ski track" took place in different regions of Russia - totally about 1,5 mln people participated in spite of -20 frosts!
Ice sculpture festival Ice sculpture festivals are organized in winter in different cities. The latest Russia ice-sculpture cup took place in the city of Perm in January. 15 teams from different cities participated in it. The winner is "You are wonderful" sculpture created by Ekaterinburg team.

Lake Baikal thick iceLake Baikal thick ice attracts hundreds of visitors in winter. Its surface makes perfect site for figure skating performance as well as hockey match. But not only that!
Under ice swimming is also popular. Moscovite Ekaterina Nekrasova set world record in it in Baikal lake in January 2021 covering the distance of 85 m for 1,5 minute without wetsuit and flippers!

One more popular pass time in winter - Russian steam bath - "banya". The legendary Sandyny

SandynyThe history of the place dates back to 1808 when the newly-wed actor Sila Sandunov bought a piece of land on Neglinnaya river (now underground river) in the centre of Moscow and built their the bathhouse. In early 19th century the baths turned into the most famous and popular social place together with English Club and Volkonskaya salon. Many well known guests enjoyed spending their time there including Russian great poet Alexander Pushkin.

SandynyBy the end of the century the building went dilapidated and the then owner officer Ganitsky after studying different baths in the West and Eastern countries finally invited architect Freiderberg from Vienna that designed the eclectical palace on the site of former baths with elements of baroque, rococo, renaissance and gothic styles. The Moscow public was very much impressed in 1896 when the project was finished and the baths opened anew. The building did not only have splendid interiors with lots of silver and gold decorations but also was one of the first technically advanced constructions of the city having its own electric power station.

SandynyNow this is the most popular steam bath in the city and country with 200 year history. The celebrities guests list is also impressive and many foreign guests coming to the city especially in winter time consider it is a must to visit it and experience true Russian banya!