Although there is a large indoors pool, the best place to swim in summer is the river Volga. Dubna is located quite high up the river, and hence before the pollution from industries situated further downstream. Water is usually warm enough starting from late May - early June, but do of course keep the weather in mind. Another thing to check is that it's not the dam-cleaning time (usually May) as that makes the water colder.
All this said, keep in mind there is little in the way of sea resort facilities on the beach, though you do get changing cabins (not many, unfortunately) and a few ice cream/beer cafeterias. Still, in hot weather as it often is in Dubna in summer, this is probably the best place to spend your time.
Picnic on the Dubna River
Starting from the May holidays (Labour day as well as May 2nd have been national holidays for years now) the popular weekend pastime is to go to the shores of the River Dubna for a spot of picnicking. The river is a much smaller one (and one of the three surrounding the island on which the older part of the town is built) compared to Volga but there's enough space even if quite a few parties are going.
Barbecue is the most popular activity, but there is also good fishing as the river is quiet. Boating, swimming, badminton are all popular sports to engage in, as is kicking a football around.
The picnic spots are usually reached by walking down the asphalt road from the edge of the old part of the town (for about 30 minutes) and turning off once you see a gravel road to your right leading you off the paved road. From there, follow the trail (there's just one so you definitely won't get lost!) till you get to the river bank.
- Water Sports
Go To 'The Arrow'
First I guess I must explain what ‘the arrow’ is :))) ‘The Arrow’, or ‘strelka’ in Russian, is what we call the place where the Dubna river flows into the Volga river.
It is not exactly inside the town of Dubna, however it is on the territory that is considered by law to belong to Dubna (that is the village of Ratmino which functions as a somewhat derelict part of the town), so I am putting it here.
The place features fine vistas (especially if the weather is not sunny but has half-colours) of the opposite bank of the river Volga and of the river itself. There’s also a nice old 18th century church, which (I hope) will be a topic of a separate tip.
Keep in mind, though, that while the vistas are exceptional with moody weather, it will probably be quite windy as well.
Everybody in Dubna owes JINR a lot. In fact, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (for that is what the letters JINR stand for) is the single most important reason why Dubna was built in the first place. It is also several years older than Dubna, so the respect of all our citizens is due to it. JINR is also quite famous, for two new chemical elements were discovered here, and one of them was given the name ?Dubnium?, in honour of our town.
I put it is a ?Must See? for these reasons, though technically this is not the most correct thing, because one can not just walk inside and view all the curious things there are. I have been there many times - though that was quite a long time ago - because my parents are scientists and work there (when they are not doing experiments at CERN, in Geneva). Later there was just no reason to go, and it became more troublesome, as the rules tightened. Still, if there?s a group of people willing to visit, I seem to remember that it is possible to organize excursions during weekends. Try, for there?s no harm in it!
The photo is from official press.
I realize this tip sounds mighty strange, but here it is. My hometown is a funny place were surprising things tend to happen. I have decided to make this one just for a taster of what you might encounter if you come.
Submarines: OK, we do no live anywhere near the sea. But still, take a look at the picture connected to this tip. That is from official Dubna mass-media dated September 2003. I do not have my own pics, since I arrived at the scene without a camera. This is a real submarine going to Moscow!!
Symphonic Orchestra Playing to Greet the Trains: it?s a bit of a regular happening. The orchestra plays to greet the Sunday express arriving from Moscow at 18:45 and sees it off again.
I shall add more curiousities!!!!
Visit the University
Yes! Dubna has its own University, though not a grand-old one. It was established in 1994 as an international university that was to concentrate mainly on the studies of nature, man, and society, though it contains much more departments now, such as linguistics, law, physics, economics, management, and more.
The University was also the site of what I regard as one of the most stupid actions of our town council. There were plans for the Russian president Putin to come, and his security people brought down all the bushes that surrounded the University in order… to prevent an assassination attempt. Putin never came (I’m not sorry – not a big fan of him anyway), and the bushes suffered for nothing. Luckily, they’ve been replanted.
What you should go there for, it to get free web surfing. Documents are never checked upon your entering (went there myself many times, though I’ve got no pass), and as soon as you’re in, you can walk into any class containing personal computers connected to the Internet and surf the web for free. Enjoy!
Go Ballooning On The City Day
End of July is celebration time in Dubna. Many things about the City Day are described in 'Local Customs' tips, but I decided to put some really attractive (in my personal view) things in the 'Must See' section of my Dubna page.
Ballooning is one of these. Here you actually see our balloon in preparation for the feast. During day time (and if you pay a modest fee) you will be ale to rise above the ground and view all (or almost all) my home town from the birds' point of view. You can also take you photo camera with you -- just don't drop it down!!
You're unlikely to pay more than 6-7 USD for a brief flight, though there will be two or three other people inside the balloon's gondola. Safety record is 100%, so don?t worry --- you'll be perfectly all right. That is, if you've got a good head for heights:))
Picking Mushrooms And Berries
I really should have called it not 'must see', but 'must do'!
Picking mushrooms and berries is a traditional pass-time for people here. Some do it to get food, others ? to relax and spend some time in the forest. I?m not sure, however, that the berries you see are eatable:))
The Daniil Chapel
Dubna is not that rich in religious architecture, but... there's still something. For example, like this cute (it's not ancient, I am afraid) chapel, consacrated to Daniil - one of the Russian saints.
The staff and people attending are really helpful, won't insist on skirt and head scarf for women and will with pleasure tell you about the saint and the chapel.
Go to the beach.
Applicable only in summer, unless you wish for a swim in an ice-cold water:)) Quite a popular thing in Russia, too. Never do it myself, however...
We have no sea here, only the Volga river, so many of the traditional beach entertainment options may be missing. However, there are water motocycles and windsurfing. That besides swimming in nice clean (not the most common thing for Russian rivers) water with a beach where new sand is brought each year and that is cleaned quite thoroughly each week. So you'll find no bottle glass or anything of the kind.
What you'll find however, are scores of my fellow inhabitants of Dubna (and may be your truly, too), especially if you chance to go to the beach on a weekend day. In case you're tired of swimming you can go just several meters and have a refreshing cocktail or glass of juice at the beach cafe'.
Music School and Tchaikovski monument
The whole thing is rather picturesque really :))) I studied at the Music School for 7 years, so for me the place is quite special as well.
If you like, you can enter the school and listen to the concerts (when they are scheduled, of course) by the pupils -- free of charge, if nothing has changed recently.
Also, there are other events taking place, and often artists on tour choose this place for concerts they give in Dubna.
Listen to the Folk Choir 'Sudarushka'
This is the way to experience both Russian folk culture and the talent of our people of Dubna :))
The choir is not a professional one, but they do sing well and the performances are always as colorful as one might wish -- see for yourselves in the photo here!
It consists women, mostly retired, who decided not just to sit at home, but to bring joy with their singing to others.