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Moscow Open-air Swimming 2010
Svetlana Grebenuk

Russian superstition says you can go swimming open-air after the first thunder-storm in spring when the May storms purify the water. The Russian Ministry of Civil Defence says it is really only safe to swim from until June 1st to August 31st.

Starting from June 1st there will be seven swimming places open in Moscow, four of which are not far from the centre and easily reached reach by public transport. This year, the requirements for the beaches in Moscow were tightened up, and no swimming zone will be approved before water samples are taken, rescue teams formed, and the bottom of lakes and stretches of rivers cleaned.

Serebryanny Bor is probably one of the best natural recreation zones in Moscow. A unique stretch on the banks of Moscow River with pine woods and fresh air is worth visiting even if you are not a lover of outdoor swimming. Only 20 minutes’ drive from the centre and you’re at two beautiful beaches. The entrance is not free but affordable. Around 500 roubles segregates you from potentially undesirable beach neighbours, and life savers are on hand. There are three beaches, two beaches: #2 and #3 are open to the public. To reach beach #3 you can take a minibus taxi (marshrutka) or a bus 190 from Polezhaevskaya metro station and its last station will be the beach. Beach #2 will welcome you if you take a trolleybus 20 or 86 and hop off on the last station.

Another two beaches: Troparevo in the South-West of Moscow and Mescherskoye in the West are much cheaper but less comfortable. They have free entrance, but this means they are more crowded. You’ll have to take your own umbrella with you, and there are no chaise longues or beach games to rent. Though Mesherskoye pond is closer to the centre, about 15 minutes on minibus 500 which stops right next to the beach entrance (last stop). To find the bus you should come out of last metro wagon on Kievskaya station and look for the blue signs on the walls of the underground walkway that say the numbers of buses and follow the arrows to bus route 500. As soon as you come out of the walkway you will see a bus stop in a few meters from ‘Evropeyskiy’ shopping center.

Troparevo boasts a free parking zone but it’s a longer way on bus 227 from ‘Teplyi Stan’ metro station than Mesherskoye. Come out of the last wagon on ‘Teplyi Stan’ station, keep left after the glass doors and walk to the end of the walkway and then up on the left stairs. A little right from the exit you’ll see a path leading to the bus stop you need.

Anyway, whether you swim or not, don’t forget to use sunscreen and drink hot green tea to avoid sunstroke.

Serebryannyi Bor is worth visiting even if you are not a lover of outdoor swimming Serebryaanyi Bor beaches are both approved for use (Beach #2 on the picture)

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