Thursday, January 16, 2014

What do we do in our free time?

Although our schedule keeps us very busy, we do have some free time. Some of us use that time to rest, catch up on work, or explore new places in Moscow. On Sunday my roommate, Lisa, and I decided to go to the Gulag Museum. It was a bit difficult to find, but that meant that we were able to explore the area. I was interested in going to the museum, especially after taking Soviet History this fall semester. I was surprised to find that the museum included artwork inspired by the topic. The museum highlighted the experience of about a dozen people in the Gulag, including some video interviews on the bottom floor. The bottom floor was so cold that I started shivering. We were shocked to learn that there were labor camps everywhere, even very close to Moscow.

This is a map of the Gulags of the USSR:

This is a sculpture titled "The Regime's Orphans": 

Today some of us decided to go to Gorky Park for ice-skating! It’s outdoor skating, and it’s in such a big area (not a rink) that there are even "street" signs. After skating for about an hour, we decided to skate up to one of the restaurants to get dinner. These are restaurants that you can only get to by skating. There were colored lights under the ice, lights decorating the trees, and fire pits (although they didn’t seem very warm in today’s weather). We really enjoyed our evening skating!

Lisa and I in front of the skating entrance:

And a bonus picture--at the beginning of our trip, back in Rostov, some of us decided to play dress up:

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