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An Introduction to Skating in Russia
by Kathie Fry
Cone Skaters in front of the Hermitage Museum
Palace Square in Historic St. Petersburg
Copyright © SkateLog.com
When I told my friends I was planning a skating holiday in Russia,
they all had one question... WHY?
They said things like "Won't the streets be in terrible condition?" and
"Aren't you worried abut street crime and the Russian Mafia?". After skating
in Russia two years in a row, and spending many hours with the friendly
skaters of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Pushkin and Novgorod, I can tell you,
without reservation, that Russia is one of the most exciting and unique
skating destinations in the world.
Why Skate in Russia?
Russian cities have many beautiful, historic and exotic sights,
and most of them can be seen on skates. Russia also has a growing inline
skating community that is eager to share the joys and pleasures of skating in
Russia with the rest of the world. Even the law enforcement authorities
in Russia are friendly to skaters, as long as you don't do anything
Getting Around in Russia
It is very possible to rent a car in Russia, but I have never
found it necessary to do so. You can skate almost anywhere you
need to go, and when distances are too far to skate, you can always
take a subway, bus, or train. When all else fails,
you can hire a taxi, but for me that was rarely necessary.
If you need to travel between Moscow and St. Petersburg you can take
a domestic flight, but I always enjoy taking the overnight train
between those two cities.
You can skate right onto most trains and buses in
Russia, but one place you will never be permitted to skate is inside
the underground subway (Metro) system. You must remove your skates
before you enter any Russian subway station. The subways can be
intimidating at first, if you are not familiar with the Cyrillic
alphabet, but I discovered a trick that makes navigating Russian
subway systems a piece of cake: purchase two subway maps, one in
Russian, and one in English or your native language.
You will need both of them - trust me!
Part 2: Skating in Moscow
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