Moscow, a city for art lovers, vagabonds, and science enthusiasts. Moscow stuns everyone with her picturesque landscapes, snow-clad mighty forts, rich history and the warmth of locals. If you want to see the evolution of entire mankind and human society, right from the days of slavery to reaching out to space, Moscow is your destination.
Debbie Pozzobon is a travel blogger and she loves to pen down what excites her. Here is an account of her tryst with Russia. She visited Russia with her husband and fell in love with the warmth of this frozen (almost) country. Here’s an excerpt from her memoirs about the capital city of Russia flourishing on the banks of the Moskva River. Growing up in the West in the ’70s and ’80s, my understanding of Russia, the USSR, or the Soviet Union was permeated by fear. Hollywood fostered this fear by all the movies of spies, the infamous KGB and being banished to Siberia! But after landing in Moscow and making our way on the underground to our hotel – I was immediately struck by the sheer beauty of the city. Moscow by night is a fairy tale land of lights.
Moscow has got to be the cleanest city and architecturally one of the most breathtakingly beautiful capitals of the world. There is no litter. No graffiti. The buildings are in pristine condition despite the wealth of history that is on display.
Our first day dawned and we couldn’t wait to set out for Red Square. we found a breakfast place and relished on the native cuisine. On our way to Red Square, we walked down the “Wall Street” of Moscow. The Russian capital is an endless source of amazement for the art and architecture aficionado. The buildings are impressive and in immaculate condition. There are no “traditional” skyscrapers that one usually sees in a CBD instead Moscow has her own Russian versions of skyscrapers, known as the Seven Sisters or “Stalin’s High-rises” and are a group of seven skyscrapers in Moscow designed in the Stalinist style.
“Moscow has got to be the cleanest city and architecturally one of the most breathtakingly beautiful capitals of the world.”
St Basil’s Cathedral
St Basil’s Cathedral is the iconic landmark with the colorful onion-shaped domes that stands adjacent to the Red Square. The first Tsar of Russia built it between 1555 and 1561. With its mix of colors and patterns it is said to be shaped like a bonfire rising into the sky. The onion-shaped domes are said to have practical architectural value in that they allow for snow to slide off and not create undue weight and damage to the building. They are also said to symbolize an eternal flame of faith.
On our way home we visited the famous GUM shopping mall. This is a gorgeous building constructed in the Neoclassical style. At the center of this famous landmark is the historic fountain, which is a meeting place for locals and tourists. It is also close to the world famous ice cream shop! Taking a trip to the Ladies or Gentleman change rooms at GUM is an absolute must! It is palatial and an extravagant experience that ends with the use of creams, lotions, perfumes and the option to rest in an elaborate lounge – at a small fee – naturally! Where do you meet your party after this – well at the fountain of course!
There are no words to describe the unbelievable beauty of the stations. They are all different but so beautiful and literally palatial! There is one with brass sculptures that are rubbed for various reasons – fertility, wealth, health and prosperity. There is one decorated like a cathedral with a massive stained glass wall. The sculptures, chandeliers, art, mosaics and architectural splendor of these stations are simply breathtaking. During WWII, the underground was used as an air-raid shelter, and some military officers were temporarily housed here. Of course, there are also musicians and performers here too.
“Zaryadye Environmental Park has a uniquely shaped bridge that appears to hang over the Moskva river without pillars”
Zaryadye Environmental Park
We stopped at the Zaryadye Environmental Park built on the site of Rossiya Hotel. It has a uniquely shaped bridge that appears to hang over the Moskva river without pillars! There are a number of exhibits in the park, one of which comprises 3D movie theaters. We took in two shows; Spectacular! There are always street performers in Russia, and we were treated to many concert type performances of singers, piano players, violinists, and dancers.
Our last stop in Moscow was the Space museum. This took us a whole morning, this is definitely worth a visit for the Space enthusiasts. The models and indeed parts of space stations, spaceships, space suits, and space gear are awesome! We walked inside Mir! One can also purchase space food, which comes rather ominously packaged in what looks like triangular toothpaste tubes!