In the evening we visited Olga and Sasha, childhood friends of Galina, for dinner at their apartment. One thing I’ve noticed about Russian apartments is that there’s just enough room to swing a cat as long as the cat doesn’t mind having some nasty clips around the head. Olga, Sasha, and Katya their daughter are all squeezed into what we’d call a one bedroom apartment back in Australia. Sasha told the story over dinner of how, when he’d been naughty as a child, his father who worked at one of the local rocket plants, would come home and threaten to pop him in a rocket and send him off into space, “no, no daddy, don’t send me off into space!”. Olga got to practice her english on me during the meal and I tried out my conversational Russian, which by the way is way worse than Olga’s english.
After dinner, and a few vodka’s, we all headed down to Revolution Square to see the Ice Village by night. Ice Villages are one of those Russian winter traditions that springs up in the centre of any Russian city of sufficient size in about November of each year and last until about March. The ice statues and houses are fashioned from ice blocks brought in and glued together with melt water to get the rough shape, then the blocks are hand sculpted to their final form. You can actually go inside some, and of course there’s the obligatory slide for the, er, kids.