Because you guys, Russians just do parks better.
It's true. Their parks are so beautiful. Remember the one I told you about in St. Petersburg? Remember Gorky Park? There are parks like that all over Moscow and St. Petersburg. They are stunningly gorgeous places.
A lot of them are really just former palaces, and the "park" area is the palace grounds and gardens. Tsaritsyno used to be the palace of Catherine the Great. Can you imagine living in a place where you can go for an afternoon walk in the shadow of a palace? It really is beautiful.
Tsaritsyno has been on our To Do list for practically the entire summer, but we've been waiting to do it on a Sunday, since it's only one Metro stop past where we go to church. The problem is, we are usually so worn out from Saturday's adventures that we kept pushing it off until the next Sunday.
Well, this was our last Sunday in Russia, so we decided it was now or never. I thought the trip might be ruined because of the rainy weather, but it turns out it just stayed cloudy the whole time, which actually added a lot of beauty to the pictures. Since it wasn't cold either, it ended up being the perfect day to go.
You can see the top of the palace from the entrance to the park. Hopefully this gives you some sense of scale. The place is HUGE.
Russians love parks. They go for walks after dinner, to get out of the city and enjoy the air and sunshine. I wish we did that more in America.
Look at that cute guy in his Sunday best.
What's in the bag he's holding, you ask? We brought along some candy so that he wouldn't perish by the wayside. Bless his little hummingbird metabolism.
This is still a functioning church at Tsaritsyno--they must have just started or just ended some services, because there were quite a few people there.
This little guy was so cute.
And this one was not so bad either.
You guys, the palace. THE PALACE!
I love it!
Just look at that moody sky! The beautiful color of the roof! The brick work! The turrets!
It just...I mean...maybe you have to see it in person, but it just makes your soul want to sit and listen to the quiet. The whole place was hushed and still, and you could just see beautiful grass and buildings in every direction. You have not lived until you've been to a Russian park!
The view from the back side of the palace:
I love the architectural style of the buildings and bridges--it was almost like a cross between Russian, European, and Muslim architecture somehow. It seemed so different than anything else I've seen.
Some of it definitely reminded me of Stalin's Seven Sisters. It seems so Gothic and imposing, yet at the same time, powerfully beautiful. LOVE.
And what Russian park wouldn't be complete with a random volleyball court in the woods with shirtless old men playing a game or two:
The sky. incredible.
Look at that spiky arch!
See the church through the arch? So pretty.
You can also see a bride in the righthand side of the picture.
Russians love taking their wedding photos at historical sites. I mean, can you blame them? This place is gorgeous.
So much green. I want to roll down that hill.
They also have fountains that they light up at night and play to music, kind of like at Disneyland. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see that, but I'm sure we'll be back to Moscow at some point.
I have too many posts and not enough days to post them, so make sure to check back soon! I will probably be posting at least one and possibly two posts a day for a little while. I just have so many things I just didn't get to tell you about.