Archive for August, 2010

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Discovering Bulgaria and the Black Sea

August 29, 2010

I’m sure you all saw the pictures on the news of the smoke or ‘Smog’ in Moscow from forest fires all over central Russia as the temperatures hit 40C plus during the day. Yes we came to Moscow for the Summer and it just happened to be the hottest one on record. It’s no fun being in the centre of a big city experiencing such temperatures. Sometimes we could escape to Rita’s family Dacha but in the end the smoke made that impossible.

Yes, the hot temperatures and the ‘Smog’ finally got to us so we decamped to the Bulgarian, Black Sea coast for 10 days for a well earned rest. It’s less than a two hour flight from Moscow to Burgas on the Black Sea. Bulgarian people are extremely friendly and it is an area rich in cultural diversity and history.

Trying to keep with the theme of  ‘Blacks and Backs’ here are some photos of our adventure off the beaten track rather than in the back country, in the Balkans down on the Black Sea:

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Every Great City has a great DERBY – Spartak vs CSKA Moscow

August 9, 2010

Alex and I’s latest wild adventure! We recently attended Moscow’s biggest Derby at the Luzhniki Olympic stadium. There are 5 big Moscow teams in the Russian Super League but Spartak vs CSKA is the one that gets the blood boiling and catches the imagination. Spartak have traditionally been the team of the people and are backed by Luzkov the ‘all important’ Mayor of Moscow. CSKA are the team of the army and hence, also have a huge following given the importance of that institition even in post Soviet Russia (just about everyone still does 3 years national service).

It was a hugely exciting game watched by 60,000 ardent and enthusiastic fans. CSKA edged 2-1 with virtually the last kick of the game; scored by Wagner Love a Brazilian which was apt given the game was played in 30C plus temperatures even though the game kicked off at 7 pm. Some of the pictures telling the story are below………………………