Saturday, August 25, 2007

Horse Expo at Sokolniki Park

This weekend there's a huge international Horse Expo here in Moscow. Great timing, no? I read about it in Passport magazine and scrambled to find tickets upon our return last Friday. I lucked out; I apparently got the last set of three tickets to any of the shows--and they were in the front row. (That sounds so easy, but it could have been easier... Some tickets are available online, with delivery, but these weren't--unless you were willing to pay $180 instead of $90. After tracking down the tickets--trying many different places, by phone, I had to spend two hours going into the center and back to pick them up using the subway--no parking in the center, so no point in going by car).

We almost didn't make it there; both girls have been pushing the limits with their behavior and it has been utterly exhausting mentally to keep them in line. They always fall apart when we go the USA and back, but this time it's worse because of unexplainable bad jet lag. I have a hard time keeping my cool when I'm so sleep deprived (because they're not sleeping well and keeping me awake). The HYSTERIA this morning over wearing their matching horse shirts was over-the-top, too. THEY initially picked them out, but then changed their minds--I wasn't going to let them keep switching outfits. They had their choice and made it--and they HAD to be in bright matching outfits since we'd be in a large crowd and I was on my own with them. Having them dressed that way (in bright and matching clothing) makes it incredibly easier for me to always know that they're right by me. I was on my own because Chris was in London on business; he got back to Moscow tonight after we got home.

In any case, the expo is called "Equiros" and it's the 9th Annual International Equine Exhibition in Moscow. There are over 7 huge pavilions filled with anything related to horses. The whole affair takes place at Sokolniki Park, a wonderful park in the north of the city. It's lovely!!! The market near the park is well-known as "the" place to purchase a good bike at the best price, and inside the park you can find amusement parks, playgrounds, horseback riding, various sport terrains, woods and the expo center.

The horse show was so interesting: it was more like a dance recital mixed with some circus and a horse show. I've included a video of the performance in the posting right before this one. Keep in mind that all of the high wire acrobatics are done with NO safety wires! The acrobats could have fallen onto other performers with fire or horses! I'd actually prefer some safety measure so I could let my breath out and just enjoy their talent...

After the show, the girls went for rides on this horse and... camel! Natalia was the one who BEGGED to ride the camel--and I convinced Katya to go along with her. Once it came time to MOUNT the camel, however, Natalia had second thoughts... That camel was TALL. Katya had so much fun riding him on her own, though! She said that his fur felt scratchy and that he smelled--but that it was wonderful to ride him. She looked so happy!

I then let them go on two rides at the amusement park. We went on the Ferris Wheel as a family--but NEVER AGAIN. I didn't realize until we were already in the pod--and it was too late to get out--that there were no seat belts and the no real walls. The music was too loud for the man to hear me--and stop the ride. It had never occurred to me that there would be no restraints--this ride made the Ferris Wheel at Gory Park look almost "American" in it's safety standards. (You'd think after living here for three years, I'd have gotten a clue and would know by now never to "expect" anything... I will now!!) I truly don't think I've ever done anything so terrifying in my life; this was worse than flying in an old Ukrainian airplane in July. We all held on tight and I kept the girls happy and calm; if Talia had had one of her fits of anger, she could have fallen out. I was so, so glad to get OUT of that pod.

As we left the park, Katya commented on the beautiful pink sky. It was breathtaking! Both girls said that Sarah, our beloved former neighbor in Connecticut, must really be enjoying Heaven since it's so pretty there; I almost cried listening to them talk about how much they missed her, but how wonderful it must be for her with all the other angels... Katya also wondered if Sarah's cigarettes were making more clouds.

The whole drive home was nice; we all loved driving by the Kazan Railroad Station. I'll go back there and take pictures sometime; it's in one of the most architecturally interesting areas of the city. We had fun during the drive listening to the soundtrack of High School Musical 2 on my ipod :-) (We missed the premier of the movie on the Disney Channel by one day and look forward to getting it off of itunes this fall!).

1 comment:

Tina in CT said...

I cried when I read about Sarah. I miss her next door so much and it'll be a year in a week that she is gone. What a sweet way for the girls to remember her.