Novosibirsk: City Life
Thanks to Academgorodok (Academic Town) Novosibirsk is known as a city of ‘great brains’. No wonder that it is here, in the heart of Russian science, where an unprecedented campaign called ‘Total Dictation’ was born. It all started in 2004, when professors of the Novosibirsk State University (NSU), one of the best in the country, decided to check how well their students and staff know their mother tongue. The campaign was called ‘The Total Dictation’, though at that time it was not total at all and concerned only the NSU. A piece of text written by one of the Russian classics (Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev) was dictated to the people and then spelling and punctuation were checked.
The idea to write this post came to me a week ago when I guided a group of Thai tourists. We had planned a great itinerary for 8 hours, including a visit to a nearby village to get an idea of the rural Russia, a visit to Academgorodok to see how people of science live surrounded by the forest, and a lot more. But we had to go to the market and the shopping mall instead as the day was impossibly dull — snow-rain, grey sky, dirty melting snow… Novosibirsk refused to show its best to this Thai group, apart from one of the Beerman restaurants, which are exceptionally good all year round.
But these travelers read about Novosibirsk in a blog of another Thai traveler, who was lucky to come to Novosibirsk on a beautiful December day. It was about -20 that day, it was snowing, but we had a great time exploring the pine forest, and the village, and the city covered in sparkling snow.
If you arrive to Novosibirsk by train, the first building you see is the railway station, and even if you don’t see anything else in the city but this building, you will still see enough. The Main Railway Station (Novosibirsk-Glavny in Russian) is one of the main city attractions and one of the largest railway stations in the country with the total area of more than 29000 m2. Its shape resembles a locomotive heading eastwards.
The Zoo in Novosibirsk is one of the main attractions and a big part of the social and cultural life of all citizens. During the summer 2016 the zoo faced several important changes.
Coffee Collective is one more coffee shop close to the downtown. It’s hard to surprise visitors with good coffee, as it is good nearly everywhere, so coffee shops try to surprise with exclusive service, trendy interiors and specialties.
Russia values its tradition, and in summer Novosibirsk attracts lots of visitors to different events related to folk arts, crafts, music and traditions. The previous week offered two events of the kind, both demonstrating how important and valued Russian and Slavic traditions are and how many people are into them.
The ‘Ice Town’ at the embankment of the Ob river is a good old Novosibirsk tradition, and each year it is devoted to a certain theme. This year we are celebrating 55 years of the first space flight done by Yuriy Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut.
2016 is here in just a few days! Novosibirsk is looking forward to it. We’ve decorated the streets, buildings, offices and even trees.
Pervomaisky Park is located in the downtown, next to the Nature and History Museum occupying one of the oldest and the most beautiful buildings in the city, opposite the city hall and the so-called Lenin’s House, where a small concert hall is situated today. It is one of the most popular recreation spots in the city mainly because it is easily accessible by metro, good for office workers to have a walk during the lunch break, nice to have some fresh air before going to the Opera and Ballet Theatre. It is one of the oldest parks, too.
On August 8, 2015, 126 athlets crossed the Ob River, each of them swam about 3000 meters. The event is traditional, it has taken place many times before. during several last years the distance was somewhat shorter due to the construction of the new highway bridge, but this year the initial distance was restored. Athlets start swimming close to Bugrinsky Bridge and finish the distance at Oktyabrsky Bridge, which is the oldest in the city. The width of the river is about 800 meters, the flow is quite strong, so the overall distance is about 3000 meters. The swimmers are accompanied by the giard service and doctors, who are ready to help in case someone of the participants sees he or she is unable to go on.