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City Hunter: Visiting A Reindeer Farm
February 13, 2012 13:08

Antsiferovo is a rural locality in Orekhovo-Zuevsky District of Moscow region. It is a common village with low wooden houses, a river and huge trees making up one of the beautiful Russian forests. But it doesn't mean there is no any attractions here except nature.

At the end of January, when the real Russian winter has come into its own and the temperature in Moscow suburb fell below 20°C, I decided to make an after-Christmas exciting trip to the private reindeer farm.









It was very easy to arrange. I have booked a tour from this website by a phone call and then paid for it.
On the appointed date I arrived to Komsomolskaya metro station where a big comfortable bus was already waiting for passengers. An so my trip began.

In an hour and a half the bus slowly drove into the farm. From the window I could see the ever biggest fir-trees covered with a pure white blanket of virgin snow and it reminded me a folk Russian tale “Morozko”, where a girl appeared in a winter forest. 









 A funny tour guide in the traditional north clothes (deerskin overcoat and deerskin boots) led us to the main goal of our journey – beautiful and friendly reindeers. Each of them has its own name and history.











This is Taison. It got its name because of the naughty nature in the past. But today it is the most friendly reindeer in a herd.





This is Bamby. Look at the cute spot on its muzzle.













In the Far North the white deer is considered to be a sacred animal that brings luck. We were strongly recommended to stroke it.








And these two deers are real movie stars – they starred in “The Snow Queen” by Natalia Bondarchuk coming soon to the big screen.







The history of the farm's origin is amazing. Alexander Bondarchuk, the host of this farm, served in the Far North after the graduation from the High Naval Engineering School. Once he saw a herd of deer sent to slaughter. He could afford to buy only two animals and he did it and saved two reindeers. He brought them to Moscow region and then started to think what to do. It was a desperate step to take reindeers to Moscow, as these wild animals got used to live in a special tundra climate and to eat special food - reindeer moss - full of rich microelements. Alexander didn't give up. He registered his farm, consulted with veterinaries and started to look after his new pets. Together with scientists he even created a special food that replaced moss.
Today reindeers live in good conditions and attract tourists from all over the country.







These animals have a special diet, but we were allowed to feed them with a brown bread – a real delicacy for them.
Reindeers got used to live in a severe climate in tundra, where the temperature often falls below 50°C. But they always feel warm because of the tubular structure of their hair.
The reindeer's nose is also fully covered with hair.






Here is Grigory, a hereditary reindeer breeder. He came from Kola peninsula and really loved his job.
He showed us how to harness a reindeer and then invited all adults and children to a wonderful sleigh ride.














We also saw an exposition, dedicated to the traditions of indigenous north peoples.
Here is a model of a traditional house with reindeer skins inside.







I really hope you liked this virtual journey to the reindeer farm and probably you will decide to come here someday!
Enjoy the video from the reindeer farm and feel the winter atmosphere of this attractive place.

Reindeer Farm, Moscow Region.

Natalia Semicheva
 All photos and a video are made by the author.

Author: Natalia Semicheva

Tags: City Hunter Russian tourism Russian Winter Moscow region Russian tourist destination 

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