During summer, Moscow sleeps for only 3 hours!
Jacob Icia is reporting from Moscow, Russia
Daylight is still ruling at 9:30pm in Moscow, as we drive towards Korvy Val Street upon arriving in Russia for in probably the busiest city on the globe this season, with the 2018 FIFA World Cup set to kick-off here on Thursday.
Checking my watch, to estimate exactly what time was wasted at the airport while checking in, I realise no sign of darkness yet the clock is ticking towards 9:30pm!
With Nairobi and Moscow in the same time zones, I expected it to be different, only to be told summer has its wonders here.
“During summer there is sunlight until 11:00pm. When the summer is at its peak around July 21st, we see reality of the cool of the night only for three hours, between 11:00pm and 2:00am,” told our guide George Odek.
Interestingly, according to Odek, during extreme winter, Moscow has 16 hours of darkness, from 4:00pm to 9:00am. What a city of contrasts?
Odek notes further that just as the ‘dark and light’ trends sharply contrast in the two seasons, lifestyles are as well different.
“The timing for World Cup was very deliberate, you can’t have it here in the winter. Temperatures go to as low as -30 degrees to the sharpest extreme, which is unbearable to even some locals. This dictates the architecture here, because every house has a heating system on the walls to take care of such times.
It is serious, you have to fuel your car with the actual consumption rate in mind lest you die on the road if run out of fuel in such a season,” told Odek, a Kenyan, almost stepping into his 11th year in Moscow.
Welcome to Moscow
The mood here is already telling, that the biggest football fiesta on the globe is taking place in Moscow.
Fans from all over the world including from countries not participating are flocking in large numbers here. At our landing at the Vunkuvo, we met Kenyans and Tanzanians with branded T-shirts announcing the presence of their respective countries in Moscow.
Attendants at the Russian immigration department (at the Vnukovo International Aiport) are quick to ask whether you are touring for World Cup, with a smile that has been exposed to be a trained one for the purpose of this tournament.
Banners erected at every entry point marked “Welcome to Russia” tell it all.
Welcome to Russia indeed, Citizen Digital, Citizen TV and Radio Citizen are here to give the best of the 21st edition of FIFA World Cup.