Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The Moscow River

We’ve just returned from a couple of weeks in the south of France. Sunny, with temperatures in the high 20s. Arrived back in Moscow to bleak skies and snowflakes yesterday.

During the Second World War (Great Patriotic War to the locals) the Russians managed a remarkable feat in moving much of their heavy industry east of the Urals, out of bombing range. So here’s a suggestion – move Moscow south to the warmer Black Sea coast. Shouldn’t take more than a few years with a determined effort. Might be a bit of work, but afterwards everyone will be saying ‘why didn’t we do that ages ago?’. Might even see some smiles on gloomy Muscovite faces.   

On to the theme of this post. Many cities in Europe are closely linked to the rivers that run through them. Think of Paris, think of the Seine. London – Thames. Vienna – Danube. Rome – Tiber (did you really know that last one?).

Here’s a challenge – can you name the rivers that run through these European cities?
Berlin -  Madrid – Oslo – Prague. Answers below.

In Moscow it is, sensibly enough, called the Moscow River. 

What to say about it?. It’s quite wide. It flows past one of the long walls of the Kremlin. It freezes in winter. Visitors can cruise up it in tour boats in summer. The banks of the river provide the only hills in the otherwise flat landscape of Moscow (Sparrow Hills even has a ski lift - see my very first post). So there you have it.

Moscow University's 'Stalin skyscraper'.

Moscow City
Another of the seven 'Stalin skyscrapers' - now the Radisson Hotel

Covered pedestrian bridge near Kievskaya

Evening cruise - just add wine

Berlin – Spree; Madrid – Manzanares; Oslo – two rivers, the Akerselva and the Alna; Prague – Vltava (hands up if you said Danube).  

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