There is a word in Russian–гулять–that I really enjoy. It means to walk, although that does not quite encompass the whole. The real meaning is to walk around, to stroll, to wander around, or to walk without a particular destination in mind. Basically, walking for the sheer pleasure of walking. I wish we did more of this in the U.S. In Russia, this happens more in the warmer seasons of the year. As the weather warms up here, you find more people out and about.
Jose and his first meeting with Eleanor Pray
Our first walk around Vlad happened almost a month ago. After a visit to the Catholic Church here (more on that coming soon!), Yasha and I were joined by our friend Jose to take a walk around the city. We giggled, we frolicked, we ate, and explored. Here are some of our findings…
The monument to Eleanor Pray was a particular favorite of Jose’s. Eleanor Pray was an American woman living in Vladivostok from 1894 to 1930. Born in Maine and raised in New Hampshire, Eleanor moved to Vlad in 1894. She was extremely important to the understanding of the lifestyle in early 20th century Russia. Eleanor wrote more than 2,100 letters that have been cataloged and transcribed, the majority having been written to her sister-in-law. The vast collection of both letters and photographs have given a unique insight into the mercantile lifestyle in pre-Russian Revolution Vladivostok.
“Just to clarify…”
We stumbled upon a beautiful back alley that had great graffiti. Not to mention the intense ice formations found along the gutters. The housing had intricate detailing, and, as usual, we found a cat that wanted to become friends.
We ended the walk with eating at one of our favorite places, Хохлома. Jose makes an excellent Russian uncle, reading to us from a book of Russian fairy tales.