Ask the Swan Specialist
Date: 26 July 2007
It has been raining all morning. I am scheduled to meet with the Zoo's curator this morning. We are going to look at some of the swan areas on the 22 hectare property. Sorry, I don't have my converter with me so I can't convert this into acreage or mileage. I just know that the property is spread throughout Central Moscow with loads of interesting exhibits, more than 6000 animals and 1000 species, to be exact.
We check on the Trumpeter and Whooper Swans first. They are waiting to be fed along with a large menagerie of ducks, geese and the ever present Swan Goose. The curator takes me to a small building housing some Trumpeter cygnets where I am allowed to photograph them.
Then, it's off to the Coscorobas and Black Swans. The Coscorobas are in an area next to an animal that looks like a Llama, while the Black Swans protect a group of four cygnets.
The rain is coming down in buckets now. We have to delay the rest of the day's activities until the rain subsides. However, all is not lost. I have had a wonderful meeting with Irina Atkinson from the zoo. Irina has offered to arrange some internet time for me so that I can get these diaries off to everyone. Irina has been so kind during my visit. She has been quick to make sure everything is running smoothly for me. She has taken me around the park, taken me to get lunch at a nice restaurant and has helped me exchange dollars for rubles.
As I leave Irina's office, the rain is really coming down. Just glad I had rain gear from our trip to England last week. I am thinking how Nikolai and I are going to get dinner tonight without having to fight both the traffic and rain. The restaurant I visited for lunch would be perfect tonight. It's a nice Russian restaurant tucked into the corner of the zoo and only about five minutes walking distance. However, Nikolai has already made plans. He greets me at the room with an entire chicken dinner for two. As the rain pours outside, we sit near the balcony enjoying our picnic in the park.
Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Parliament Building