There’s this little place we’d heard of in Listvyanka called Retro Park, and while we were more concerned with relaxation than sightseeing [of which there’s not all that much in Listvyanka anyway], we were determined to visit at least this. It was only a ten minute walk from our hotel too, and so wasn’t exactly out of the way.
Retro Park is awesome. It’s basically the artist’s backyard/studio and consists of a collection of old Soviet cars and motorbikes…plus a whole bunch of brilliant and wacky sculptures made from parts of old Soviet cars and machinery. Entering through a wide-open wooden gate you’re greeted by a knight complete with weapons, and he’s just the start. We were looking around for somewhere to buy a ticket and stumbled across a big glass jar in the grass that said ‘кассе’, so we stuffed our money in with the rest. The only person we saw was a grumpy-looking neighbour who was fixing his fence.
It’s quite small, and the name ‘park’ is a bit misleading. But, looking around at these rusty contraptions, we were convinced that the artist is a genius. I snapped a whole bunch of pictures, which will surprise a grand total of no one, and John was looking around going ‘Take a photo of this one! And this one!’. It was great fun. The grass is overgrown and so some of the sculptures are partly hidden, peeking out of the grass. And looking closely the detail in them is incredible. I couldn’t identify most of the parts used as I know nothing about cars at all, but I thought it was fantastic that all those bits and pieces were not only being recycled and reused but transformed into something completely different and completely amazing. And they almost all looked pretty about it too.