Kostroma, mon amour...
On the outskirts of Kostroma
Traveling to a little known place in Russia
It s not easy to write about a place where I was born. For one reason, I may feel so attached to it that my viewpoint can be very subjective. Kostroma, the city where the Volga river and the Kostroma river mix their waters. Kostroma, half-wooden, full of churches. The small wooden houses with their gardens and barking but friendly dogs devoured by nine-floored buildings full of newly euro-style designed apartments, and new districts mixed with ancient, village-like Kostroma. Zoom back. Sky viewed older and newer districts interlaced by the car-driven, taxi-speeded, bus-wormed roads. Well, a typical provincial Russian town, at a glance, but with a character of its own.
My favorite place is probably the hill of the central park, with the wide overview of the Volga river. Opposite is another part of Kostroma, the behind-Volga, as we call it. Right here is the old place – this used to be an ancient fortress. Walking a little further you will come to a small pavilion favored some 150 years ago by a famous Russian dramatist Alexander Ostrovski. The one who brought to life, well, brought to the scene the Russian Snow maiden – the fairy tale character, so much loved and waited for during the New Year celebrations by Russian children.
In winter time, as the snow covers the Volga and the ground, in the early winter dusk you may dream that everything is possible, and you may almost see this beautiful phantom.
Show-loving Kostroma (well, like any town’s) public. After six and a half years of immigrant life in France, Paris, the words from a well-loved Russian singer Boris Grebenschikov have a new meaning: “Kostroma, mon amour…” His concerts are always attended here by a big crowd of people.
Yes, Kostroma, beloved! Crowds of citizens and guests from other cities (Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Ivanovo, Saint-Petersbourgh and Moscow) walk your streets, enjoy the sun, the weather, the fair, the show…
Somehow I tried to capture what`s going on on the outskirts of my city, where the civilized life gets lost in the nature: the Sendega river, the forest, the vegetable garden, half wild. Really knowing why this nature inspired the Russian movie-maker Andrey Tarkovski to create his “Stalker”.
… to be continued.
© 2011 Anna Sidorova