Worst roads in Russia?!
You’ve might probably heard the traditional Russian quote by Nikolai Gogol. This satirist once wrote that Russia’s two problems are – duraki i dorogi – fools and roads:) But Gogol wrote that almost two centuries ago. And it’s far from being true nowadays. For example, the worst roads in Saratov now can be found only on the trails specially organized for off-road racing. It’s absolutely worth coming up, testing and learning how to tackle them.
Moreover, at first glance Saratov appears to be an old provincial merchant city with gorgeous buildings and great long history. But when you stay here for longer you’ll notice some modern sustainable architecture that speaks of the city treasuring the old but having a passionate love for experiments and active life.
Walking along the Volga river embankment, you’ll meet young people riding bikes, roller skating and skateboarding. Saratov youth has lots of opportunities for sport activities, because this region is historically famous for its strong trainers and sport sections. Despite the fact that Russia hasn’t fully moved towards bicycling, you’ll notice that many people are cycling in Saratov. They go to work, schools and universities by bike and don’t waste time in traffic jams.
Elena, digital specialist, says that she bikes and walks a lot in Saratov. “This city is walk-friendly and becoming more and more bike-friendly! I bike to work on nice days here and the nice weather lasts longer.”
Susan, teacher from the US, says that she loves not having to be totally reliant on a car in Saratov. “I spent countless hours stuck in traffic jams in San Francisco every single day. All in all I feel that my life here is much healthier — I walk more, I eat fresh local food, I drink lots of water and tea instead of soda, and I’ve got rid of my television and spend much time outside both in winter and in summer.”
Winter time is a special time for Russians, and Saratov is not an exception. Surrounded by hills and forests it provides great opportunities for downhill and crosscountry skiing. On the weekend people enjoy skiing in the forest or on the Cherry mountain located right within the city borders. For long holidays there’s a chance to go to one of the ski resorts 4 hours drive from Saratov and spend a wonderful time with family or friends.
Speaking of a lifestyle we can’t miss the well-known Russian tradition of hospitality. Yes, Russians love to invite guests — neighbours, friends, people that they’ve just got acquainted with — to their homes. When you’re invited, you may be absolutely sure that you’ll have the best dinner ever, you’ll be entertained with songs or interesting talks and games, and spend the best time as a guest.
Also the tradition of morning coffee is slowly blending in the Saratov lifestyle. You will surely see numerous coffee shops during your walk on the streets of Saratov. They’ve already become the most favorite place of rest for the local people. On evenings and during the lunchtime the locals gather at the patios and enjoy the flavorful drink. Some of them have nothing similar with the establishments that can be seen in other cities. These are unique «oases of comfort» with soft chairs and elegant tables. You can easily spend hours in these peaceful and cozy cafes.
The life goes in Saratov all-year-round and its citizens have everything to enjoy their working days, weekends and vacation.