Yesterday, we were dragged from our warm lair by an intrepid pair of French friends who had not yet been here or here. Both are within a few minute's walk of our place. I've been to both before (I've now been to the Vasnetsov house three times), but it's fun to go with other people. And I always learn or see something new.
Then we all went out for dinner and spent a few hours drinking vodka at our place.
I didn't even panic about the fact I hadn't disinfected the place to a level suitable for guests. Hence, the generous portions of vodka.
Today, we had a long-overdue rendez-vous with a Russian banker and his wife. The Spouse had met this fellow a few months ago, and we have tried now several times to arrange some sort of Joint Family Outing.
At 10:00 today we met them at the zoo.
There are two ponds in the zoo, and both are still relatively frozen.
You can see some flower bulbs coming up, but there is still snow on the ground here.
Here we all are in the Elephant House. The Russian word for elephant is sloan. The little girl in green stripes (lower left hand corner) is the daughter of the couple we were with. She's two and very charming.
This cat was endlessly entertaining to us. Yeah. I know. We go to the zoo, and I take a picture of a domestic cat.
One of the "Seven Sisters" Stalin-era sky scrapers. What a dreary day! Look at the pond surface.
There are, scattered around the zoo, some amusement park-type rides, none of which I think look up to any sort of safety standards. In the picture below, the guy on the right was NOT enjoying his ride. He was only going along to accompany his daughter, who is blocked by the kassa/ticket booth.
In the Monkey House, there was a big, wall-sized illustration on evolution (no "intelligent design" here, no sirree). Dude, here, was the pinacle. I think he's got a certain fay, "come hither" look. I also think he illustrates a Russian ideal of male beauty. Too bad I never see it on the streets. Although, again, I don't think his type is interested in girls, IF you know what I mean.
Then we went to the Children's Zoo. Which is sort of redundant in a zoo, isn't it? I mean, yeah, adults are allowed in the main zoo. I like a zoo. But it is such a family destination, no?
The Children's Zoo had goats and a great, big, gorgeous cow. There were guinea pigs. About eight varieties of chickens. A wolf named Tamerlane who had been rescued by hunters as a pup and now lives in harmony next to the piglets. An adorable and very large, black bear who looked out of his cage at us in total disgust.
"The bear thinks this is bullshit," The Spouse said.
And there was also this:
This cat was totally blissed out.
Yeah. Another picture of a domestic pet.
Then we went into a building featuring Hoofed Animals of Africa.
We had seen a sad giraffe on the other side of the zoo. He lived with two very bored tapirs. But this, newer building had a really nice, light place for four giraffes.
There were zebras. And various gazelle-type creatures. A gnu.
And, my personal favorite, a wart hog. Baboo looked in his enclosure and said, "Oh! Look! A baby wart hog!"
She was terribly chagrined to discover the wart hog's companion was NOT a baby wart hog.
And I got a photographic Cat Hat Trick.
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
3 years ago