Saturday 29th June 2019 (and the evening before)
‘The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page’, Greta’s Travel
We have landed in Moscow, the capital city of Russia!
Approximately 13.2 million people live here. It is additionally the second most crowded city in Europe and the eleventh biggest city on the globe!
Today Moscow is not only the political centre of Russia but its also the country’s most populous city and its industrial, cultural, scientific and educational capital.
It is viewed very much as a traditional Russian city.
On arriving yesterday and on the drive to our hotel the view was that of skyscrapers – enormous, sombre looking concrete blocks. These are what houses the many people.
As a country that was transformed into an urban society in a matter of decades, the Soviet Union housed its people upwardly and cheaply in communal apartments.
They say they are way nicer on the inside than on the outside however.
Our hotel is an approximate 30 minute walk from the city centre and has every amenity you need.
So after getting here just after 5pm, checking in, sorting ourselves out, we decided to stay put for the evening and eat here.
We relaxed for the evening, had a short walk outside and decided to keep the exploration for the next day – today!
View from window over the lit up city
So wandering down town in the morning Moscow already feels like a city of tremendous power and energy.
Moscow must be one of the most vibrant European capitals with a powerful mix of history and edginess, full of world-famous sites and attractions.
On arriving we have already saw golden glittering domes peeking over the rooftops, hundreds of churches, cathedrals with exteriors of buildings embellished with stone carvings.
It is something else.
Firstly we hit ‘The Metro’.
I had read so much about Moscow’s metros to finally be heading into one was pretty amazing.
Outside the entrance of our first metro visit in Moscow
The Metro in Moscow, dating back to the 1940’s are breathtaking, resembling underground palaces more than they do your average metro station.
With marble walls and floors, bas-reliefs, chandeliers, and even mosaics and stained glass windows.
I would recommend taking the Metro even if you don’t need to just to see some of the stations.
The Metro in Moscow is a tourist attraction in itself and they are absolutely spotless.
I was reluctant to leave the metro but we had more to see.
There is a new modern face of the Russian Capital – a striking contrast to the onion domes of the Red Square, radically altering the Moscow skyline.
Begun in 1992, Moscow’s City now boasts a dozen soaring skyscrapers.
We then head to Arbat Street an elegant historic street right in the city centre.
Arbat is one of Moscow’s most touristy spots with lots of cafes and restaurant’s, live music performers and caricaturists, as well as shops, monuments and a theatre.
Arbat Street, mainly referred to in English as the Arbat, is a pedestrian street about one kilometer long in the historical centre of Moscow.
The Arbat has existed since at least the 15th century, which makes it one of the oldest surviving streets of the Russian Capital and it’s absolutely beautiful.
People wrote and sang a lot about the Arbat. This is the street where many famous people lived and many great writers walked….and there are still elements, lots of elements of its once elegant past!
From here we done a whistle stop tour of the streets of Moscow and the main sights we want to check out upon our return which included:-
Red Square and The Kremlin
St Basil’s Cathedral
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign Icon
We then went to the GUM, Russians main department store.
Now I’m not one for shops but this was something else.
With stunning interiors it houses a variety of high-ended boutiques.
The glass roofed arcade faces Red Square and there was no expense spared.
From here we wanted to check out a new area of the city.
The capital now has its first purpose-built area to combine business, living and entertainment.
Within this area the Federation Tower can be seen.
This is now the tallest building in Europe, topping out at 3737metres.
This is significantly taller than the Shard (306m) in London. The ‘Tower’ is a complex of two skyscrapers built in Moscow’s International Business Center.
It certainly does create a monumental feat of architecture worthy of Russian status as a great power.
So with that whistle stop tour of the city, I have fell in love with Moscow.
And tomorrow we leave this great city to head to the mountains…but we will return!