Ice Skating!

Finally, the weather here is such that you just want to go ice skating. Last year, my wife and I bought skates and got a few skates in before the winter was over. This time, we’ve been itching to go since the snowfalls in October, but the weather wasn’t cooperating.

During the holidays, we were in Germany and went skating there a few times. Very nice atmosphere.

So, when it turned cold in Moscow last week, we pulled out the skates in search of a place to go. We had heard of the skating rink on Red Square. Sounds romantic. It’s not. We got there when the Zamboni was supposedly clearing the surface. But, it quickly became obvious that reality was not even close to the posted skating/cleaning times. We were in a long line, placed in such a way that you think you’re close to a касса, but in fact, you are still quite a distance. First thing that amazed us, was the 500 rouble price per person! And that for only 90 minutes. Then, I saw people who worked there scalping their own tickets. They would pace the queue until someone would ask them a question, at which point they’d say they could get you in for the next session, but the tickets would be 700 or more. <sheesh>

We stayed put as the line was moving. moving. moving. We got close to the front, but then the ticket window closed: “No more tickets.” We, and others, asked if we could buy tickets for the next session starting in 90 minutes. Nope. The ticket seller was already gone. So, we could stand there and wait another 90 minutes or so, or come back. We chose to just leave. And never to return. Over two hours wasted doing absolutely nothing while freezing.

Last weekend, we went to Сад Эрмитаж and skated there. There’s a place in the front and one in the back. The front location, while smaller, seemed to be better kept. They had sprayed water across all the walkways to create the surface. Seems a common thing, because we saw that last year at Пагк Горкого. When we returned, some people in our building asked if we had been to Соколники which is closer. They do the same thing there, it seems. We’re going there tonight, so we’ll see how it is.

Update: two nights ago, I picked up my wife from work and we were off to find somewhere to go skating. We heard about Sokolniki and another option, but on the way, passed Chistiy Prudi. It was virtually empty, but I saw people skating there. We stopped, put on our skates, and skated for about an hour. For free! The ice was not completely cleared, but enough. Quite a bit of space, too. Come to think of it, I remember seeing works clearing off Patriachy Prudi about a week ago.

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5 Comments on “Ice Skating!”

  1. narya Says:

    Next time, while you’re waiting for the temperatures outside to catch up with the calender, try skating in the Mega-Mall. It’s small but free – and if you go there in the morning (open from 10 am) you won’t get bumped over by the crowd that starts pouring in around 12 pm.

  2. narya Says:

    BTW: Would you mind editing my comment above and correct the spelling of »bumped« – looks silly as it is … Thanks!

  3. moscowblog Says:

    Yeah, I know about Mega-Mall, but it’s just not the same, you know? There is also some skating available at Dinamo and other stadiums. I have to check on that, too.

  4. Kristin Says:

    Hey,
    I used to live in Moscow about 18 years ago and we used to go ice skating in Gorky Park. If they still do it it you really should give it a go!
    I really enjoy reading your blog, it brings back memories…
    Keep writing!

  5. moscowblog Says:

    Kristin,

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad it brings back memories. Do you come back to visit at all?


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