From Shakespeare onwards (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?) the English summer has inspired poets. And there is no doubt that an English summer can be a glorious thing: verdant green grass, sweet-smelling roses, juicy strawberries, but the cold hard truth is that it can be…cold…and wet. Rain doesn’t just stop play at Wimbledon, it can ruin plans for a picnic or a walk in the country. So coming to Moscow and finding that I actually get to wear my summer dresses is a big plus. Thuderstorms may be more likely in the Russian capital than in London (WeatherSpark.com is a great source of data if you’re as obsessed about the weather as this English-woman!) but as a general rule they don’t seem to arrive until late afternoon or early evening which means you can get out and actually have that picnic in the park at lunchtime.
We’ve been exploring some great places in Moscow this summer. It was lovely to get beyond the MKAD (the circular motorway that surrounds the city) to visit Arkhangelskoye on a glorious day in June but I also had great fun finding the very cool and trendy Hermitage Gardens and we spent a fair proportion of the school holidays just hanging out at Skver Devichyego Polya.
I’ve also really relished the culture of restaurants having proper outdoor seating – no café seems to stop at just placing a few tables outside – whole wooden terraces are constructed, decorated with pots filled with flowers. Sitting outside, eating tasty food and watching the world go by is a wonderful way to lighten the spirits.
September is almost upon us but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a few more weeks of warm weather so that I can continue to enjoy all that Moscow has to offer on a sunny day. The winters here can be long and cold but the knowledge that the summer will definitely involve plenty of sun goes a very long way for compensating for the grey days of February!