On New Years Day, after a rather short night’s sleep at Ira Klimchuck’s place and a breakfast of the previous evening’s feast’s leftovers, I walked a few blocks to the home of Natasha and Volodya–a familiar place for me as they hosted my stay for several years in a row. After a “snack” there, we took a walk downtown, heading for Leningradskii (the walking/shopping street). But Volodya had a different plan – which turned out to be a wonderful idea with perfect timing.
He decided I needed to see the newish bronze statues that have been placed on the city sidewalks (this trend is common lots of places, and now Samara is joining in.) This tour took us to Pushkin park, behind the Drama Theater. We arrived just in time to see this:
A rare sight in winter, as the sky is almost always cloudy. Then, when we turned around, we saw this:
Yes, that’s Mr. Pushkin in the foreground. But the sunset reflecting on the bell tower and the domes of the convent church was truly stunning.
Finally, we did arrive at the Leningradskii, just in time to get to see the holiday lights come on:
So you see… from a bright idea (you know, like the light bulb over someone’s head in the comic strips), to a light show by the sun, to the sparkles of a lighted street, my time with the Valkovs illuminated the first day of 2014, promising more sunny adventures in the days and months to come.