The Lighting of the Tree in Magical Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is a magical city and December the 20th was a great day.  It was my first official day of work in Russia and I was going to the lighting of the Christmas Tree after work .

I live just a few minutes walk to work;

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The streets are still being cleared after the snow storm of the previous weekend so the footpaths are narrow and icy.

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This lovely park is on the way to work, I have yet to explore the monument, but I will …

One of the hazards of such severe snow and temperatures are the icicles that grow from the roofs of the houses.  We are warned to keep an eye open for falling icicles as they can cause serious injury,and even death, so I was happy to see the roofs being cleared.

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I wouldn’t want this job though;

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After work we went to the official ‘Lighting of the Christmas Tree’ in the city.  The lighting was originally planned for the weekend before but due to a severe snow storm they had had to postpone the event.   The selfish side of me is, of course, happy that it was postponed as I would have missed it had it happened on its original date!

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The streets were aglow with lights and the atmosphere created quite magical, what a treat to live in such a beautiful city.

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The tree was spectacular, the music was amazing, and who knew a street party in sub-zero temperatures could be so much fun.  I had a ball. I danced, I laughed and I met some wonderful people.

IMG_5837 IMG_5851 IMG_5852The lovely fellow in the black hat was there with his family and he had a great sense of humour.  He told me the photo had to be a ‘serious’ shot as he said he thinks the world sees Russians as ‘serious’ people.  It took more than a few tries as we were all laughing so hard it was difficult to get a ‘serious’ shot.

The Russian people are warm, welcoming, and very funny.  They smile and laugh readily, and in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk they go out of their wys to make foreigners feel a home.

We went to a little cafe for a glass of mulled wine to warm up and watched as people played chess and back-gammon on beautiful old boards.

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The final destination was the Moosehead Bar.  Oh the joy of being in a first world country again.

IMG_5864 IMG_5865 IMG_5866A Moose Burger and a glass of Australian Merlot, what a way to end a truly fabulous day.

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