Monday, March 10, 2014

Russia Day 22: A Little Shopping and a Climbing Gym

It's Monday, which means many of the museums and galleries are closed. That's good timing for me, as my left knee is quite sore, and I need a day with less walking to see if it gets a little better. So today was a quieter day, including catching up on recent blog posts, reading and relaxing.

I had been thinking about hitting the flea market at Udelnaya, but after reading some online reviews, it wasn't clear how much would be going on there on a weekday, and whether it was worth a lot of walking to find out. Instead I headed over to Gostinny Dvor, a large shopping centre on Nevsky Prospekt. I had heard there were some good souvenir shops there, with reasonable prices, and that's what I found. I'm staying vague about what I bought, as some of it will be gifts for family and friends, but I was happy with what I found. Now to see if I can fit it all in my suitcases! The one thing I have not bought is old Soviet-era souvenirs. Most of what I've seen are pins, badges, military uniforms, knives and cigarette lighters, and none of those things appeal to me at all.

After the shopping, I took the metro to one of the climbing gyms in town. I've been meaning to check out a gym here all trip, but I keep forgetting to do it in the midst of everything else I'm doing. It wasn't hard to find this gym or its entrance (maybe I'm making progress on the entrance thing?). I had to press a button to unlock the door, and then found myself in a very dark stairway; I had to wait for my eyes to adjust before I could see anything!

Sign leading to entrance of the Tramontan Climbing Centre 

 Bouldering area

Top-rope/lead area: 9 top ropes. The lead anchors were spaced about 3 feet apart,
closer together than I'm used to seeing.

The gym is one of three that call themselves the largest climbing gym in St Petersburg. They all seem to be about 10,000 square feet, so I guess they're all telling the truth. There was a good-sized bouldering area, along with a smaller roped area with 9 top ropes in place and lead draws on the walls. It's a Walltopia-built gym, and the roped area was all heavily-featured construction (i.e. the wall had lots of permanent features built into it, rather than being a smooth blank canvas for routesetters to work with).

I have been collecting a set of photos that I call World World - the common use of the Russian word Mир ("Mir", meaning both "world" and "peace") in business names. I see it everywhere, and a few days ago starting taking photos of each business I saw using the word. But I'm still having trouble getting at all my photos on my iPhone from this blog, so that feature may need to wait until I get home.

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