Friday, 5 August 2011

A phenomenon of Russian datcha

A datcha is something all Russians know. Some hate it, some love it, some don't have it, but everyone has at least some experience with it. Mine is positive.
A datcha is a country house with a vegetable garden (for those who don't know), and what distinguishes it is that for many Russians it's a good additional income in the natural form. For some people in money form too, as many elderly ladies, suffering from low pensions and wishing to do something about it, sell many things they grow there, like cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, potatoes, raspberries, strawberries and a lot more.
For me and for my while family is much more than that, though having our own ecologically clean fruit, berries and vegetables alone is something, which makes all those troubles worth it.
For us datcha is also an opportunity to be in open air, at a distance from the city, and it's just a priceless opportunity for children to be in the nature the whole day, to go around bare-foot, to eat healthy things, to swin in the river and to enjoy themselves.
What is more, our datcha is on an island. The island is pretty big, and people started to build datchas there about 50 years ago. Our datcha was built by my granddad, and it's the best memory we have of him.
You can come to the island by boat only. Now many have modern boats with high-capacity motors, but many still have something like that:

We don't have our own boat, so we arrive by car, park it on a free parking lot by the river and take a public 'river taxi', a service run by several boat-owners who bring people back and forth the whole day, from 7 am till 9 pm, 7 days a week, from April till late October.

Many houses and gardens are just wonderful.

Some even have water terraces.
A boat station.
Our house is surrounded by trees and greenery.

Inside everythings reminds us of our granddad and the Soviet past. But it's a nice memory, very nostalgic.
The reminders of the past are found everywhere.
On the beach there are some as well.

The narrow passages between the gardens are of the kind too. All these old fences, houses and banyas look pretty.
And the river (the Ob river) is something I love so deeply that I can't help swimming in it even though many say the water is not very clean.
But in fact it's not dirtier that anywhere else.

And I love watching the boats and the water. It makes me calm and happy.

Come and visit this place! You are always welcome!

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