It was one of those scenes that you would likely find under the title ‘unexplainable Russia.’
An abandoned 19th century, red brick warehouse with no roof or windows stood along the Don River. Inside the building, up to the first storey, was relatively warm water. It was coming from an underground spring.
Graffiti was written on part of the inside brick walls. And inside the water, a woman was swimming despite the sign saying it was prohibited. She was swimming breaststroke and then practiced freestyle kicking as she held the wall.
Nina said she was 83, swam at the abandoned warehouse 4 days a week and still worked part time as a nurse. She said her granddaughter lived in the US. She thought in New York, but wasn’t sure.
Nina then explained that when her granddaughter was born, the doctors said she was very weak and probably wouldn’t survive till the next day. She said she thought the baby had died, but her son in fact had given it up for adoption.
Her son and daughter-in-law later died in a tragic accident. A few months ago, Nina received a call out of the blue from her granddaughter. Nina said she was surprised to hear that her granddaughter already had a car and was living separately from her parents in a dorm.