February 11th I got the opportunity to go on a Troika ride.
We arrived at the Yard to be greeted with a bit of a show. A guy on a colored stallion did some jumping through a ring of fire, a young girl rode her horse around showing her control skills and then another guy and girl rode a bit of a pas da deux.
Then we all loaded up into the Troikas. Things to know about . Troika, there is no suspension, where one sled goes the other goes because they are fixed axel, and if you are in line with the outside horse you are going to get a bit of pelting with snowballs from their feet!
We went on a loop around a big field that was in some pretty deep snow which was hard going for the horses but was interesting for us. I got some video from the back of the sled but it was a fun experience all the same.
After a snack of pancakes, we did a quick tour of the farm. It was a very typical yard! The stable block was very nice and well kept. The stalls weren’t very big and they had been built up off of the level of the hall so the horses have to step up quite a bit to get into their boxes. All in all it was a pretty typical yard, well except for the camel!
I recommend Troika riding as well and to be in the small Troika in the middle of the back seat or the front back facing seat!
Last weekend I was given a wonderful tour of the Moscow Christmas lights by one of my colleagues Cheri who I call my her Italian name Chiara (cuz it’s my favorite!). Cheri has lived in Moscow for a while now and so she asked me if I wanted to do a walking tour of downtown to see the lights.
We had a great time walking around, talking finding out that we both know priests who currently live or are from Sardinia (small world!). Also seeing Moscow with the help of someone who can show me what things are and where I am was super helpful.
Here are some of my pictures. And here is a link to my 360 in front of the Bolshoi.
So two things that I have done recently around Moscow are ice skating in Gorky park and walking around to see the Christmas lights.
Ice Skating at Gorky park is no “Mall of Memphis” experience! The park floods the area around their big fountain and then the walking paths for about 500 feet our from the main area! There are coffee stands, food stands, restaurants and more dotted around as well.
We decided to go at night, which was lovely because the lights were on. It just happened to be snowing all day, too. The snow made it interesting because there was already about an inch and a half of snow when we got there and about 3″ when we left!
This was my first time on skates since probably high school so I learned a few things. Yes, I can still skate, barely! Yes, I need my own skates not rental ones. Yes, I need to go somewhere less crowded to get back on my feet with ice skating (it was a bit manic!) Yes, I stayed on my feet for the whole time, though I did nearly get taken out by some kids and I did nearly take another woman out!
I didn’t manage to get any pictures of skating but I did get one of me and Anne after we stopped for dinner at a fantastic restaurant on one of the trails.
So update since I went is that I now own my very own pair of skates and am looking forward to practicing at school on one of the two ice rings, until I can get out for my next Moscow skating adventure!