Sunday, October 12, 2014

Patriarch's Ponds

It was a rainy but warmish day here in Moscow today. We took the kids on a short walk to Patriarch's Ponds, which is most famous to us former grad students as one of the important sites in Bulgakov's Master and Margarita. Bart enjoyed doing a dramatic retelling of the part of the story when Berlioz slips under the tram outside the Ponds and gets his head cut off, as the Devil himself predicted. Not my favorite part of the novel, but the kids thought it was pretty cool.

We also took the kids to check out Bulgakov's house museum, around the corner from the Ponds, but it was a bit disappointing, in my opinion. I remember visiting back before it was an official site, in the late 1980s or early 90s, when fans of the book used to break into the stairwell and scribble graffiti referencing the book. Now that was an impressive museum, and every time different. It was cool to see the odd fans of the book slinking in and out of the stairwell. No graffiti in today's official museum, and no ghosts, either.

Still, it's a lovely area of town.

Kids at the pond.

Monument to Ivan Krylov, famous Russian fabulist in the 1700s-1800s.

Fairytale characters from Krylov's books are also represented in the park.

Beautiful walking path around the pond.

And the pond itself....

Here's a little outdoor library that someone installed in the park. Only one book in there today.


Over at Bulgakov's house museum, they had several old typewriters on display. No signage to indicate whether they belonged to the author himself. But they looked cool.
Ainsley hanging with some of the characters from Master and Margarita outside the museum.

Heading back home again in the rain along the Ring Road.

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