To say that this post is overdue would be a massive understatement. Victory Day in Russia is the 9th of May, meaning that I am more than three months behind schedule. No worries though, I obviously spent the last three months being too busy to do anything like blog, right? Right? Not really. I just never got round to it! A slight change to recent posts, today! No baking, nothing edible (we are still working our way through a certain cheesecake…) but lots of photographs of quite possibly the most patriotic of all Russian days.
Let me start by saying that in Russia, there seems to be a holiday for absolutely everything. Among my favourites are Women’s Day (for obvious reasons – it took me months to get through all the chocolate I was given purely for being female) and Defender of the Fatherland Day (it’s basically the male counterpart to Women’s Day). But I digress. Today I want to show you Victory Day.
I had the unbelievable luck to be living in Volgograd last year, which most of you will be familiar with for two reasons:
1) The bombings at the end of December 2013
2) It used to be called Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was devastating for the Russian people, and the triumph of this small city on the Volga is still celebrated today. First, we headed down the Alley of Heroes to try and catch a glimpse of the parade. Along the way we passed the eternal flame. This is lit (go on, take a gander) all year. Clever chap, the man who named it!
We were there quite late, so all hopes of actually seeing the parade were total wishful thinking. If I held my camera as high as I possibly could and pointed it where I thought the action was, I could just about take a photo! I’m no pip-squeak but at this moment I did wish I were a few inches taller! This was how I watched the parade! Most of the photos, as I’m sure you can imagine, were really off-center and some didn’t even have people in them!
Soz about that guys. Next we headed over to Mamaev Kurgan (I did a whole post dedicated to this absolutely incredible Russian landmark, so check it out if you’re interested!) But for good measure, I’ll throw in a few pictures of my favourite statue ever.
There was so much to see, everywhere. I’m taking street performances, replica vehicles, planes… The whole city was buzzing with patriotism, and it was so beautiful to see.
We also went to a Georgian restaurant (my new fave cuisine, seriously.) for some re-fuelling before the nighttime concert and firework display. Russian’s only have fireworks on really special occas– Sorry. I can’t even type that. I have never seen so many fireworks in my life as I have over the course of the last year! I’m talking three or four times a week you will hear fireworks.
This wine was actually fairly grim. It was really cheap and the wind kept blowing grit into our faces, or more insultingly, into our alcohol. But to be honest, anyone serving wine you pour yourself from a clay decanter into a clay bowl is a winner in my eyes. Grit’n’all.
It was such a beautiful day, and writing about it is making me want to go back!
Question: What kind of recipe would you like to see next? Let me know and I’ll see what I can do? I’m always up for a challenge!!