It has long been impossible to imagine the surroundings of any Russian city without houses of various types belonging to citizens, from homely sheds to luxury cottages. A dacha is a country house and a plot of land in a rural area owned by citizens who are registered in the city but spend some time in the countryside (from a week to a whole year), most often in summer.
Statistics show that more than 30% of Russians own a dacha. 62% of Muscovites prefer the rest in the country to any other kind of rest. Of course, most of the time is taken by summer cottage construction, buildings repair, soil preparation and planting, new greenhouses, landscape design, and so on. But there is always some time for a wonderful rest, and one cannot spend these moments on simply reading a newspaper in the shadow of a young garden or having an evening tea party, there are much more interesting things to do.
In coziness and comfort of the country, you can have a great time with your family, friends, and relatives: arrange picnics, sunbathe, engage in summer sports, gardening, or just relax and spend time outside enjoying the fresh air.
Shashlykh or Russian barbeque
Shashlykh is a shish kebab or grilled meat, fragrant vegetables on the grill or fish steak. Many Russians who own a dacha will build a barbecue stove or even a smokehouse, where you can always cook a lot of goodies.
Do not forget that for fresh and hot meat you should always have not only high-quality meat but also best tomatoes for the sauce and fragrant greens – onions, parsley and dill for seasonings.
Picking mushrooms and berries
In summer many Russians like to go to the woods to pick up mushrooms and berries. In the forests, one can find strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, raspberries, cranberries. Picking up mushrooms will produce porcino mushrooms, chanterelles, aspen mushrooms, boletus, milk mushrooms, and many other types.
From the collected mushrooms one can cook soup, roast them with potatoes, and also dry, salt or freeze to use in winter. Berries are used to make classic jam, jelly, marmalade, bake pies or freeze for later use.
Swimming and sunbathing
Most of the cottages are located near water bodies: rivers or lakes, in many places there will be sandy beaches, wild or even sanitized, so very often people swim, because it is so nice to plunge into the cool water, especially during the heat. Also, many Russians love to sunbathe in order to be fed with sunlight, which is so often lacking in winter.
The key to the best summer on dacha is that labor must be alternated with active rest (hiking in the woods, swimming, sports, and physical activities, etc.) and passive rest (sleep, conversations, watching television and movies, board games). The best schedule would be to rest twice as long as work.