Moscow revisited.

My first visit to Moscow was in 1999 and it did not bring me fond memories.  I had spent most of my days that trip in a small village outside of Bryansk staying with a family whose daughter came to live with us for one year in the U.S.  At the end of the two week visit, we spent a couple of days in Moscow.  I confess, my memories of Moscow from that trip are limited to heavy traffic, Red Square and tourist vendors, and food poisoning.  I was not super into the idea of going back to Moscow except that some of my friends, whose opinion I highly value, speak very well of Moscow and I thought I needed to give it another chance.  In fact, I still need to give it another chance because the day I scheduled for us in Moscow was not enough time to really get to know the city.  So what can I tell you based off of my very limited knowledge of the largest city and capital of Russia?  The subway system is phenomenal – not only is it extensive, but it is beautiful.  If you go in the winter time, you may get to see snow in Red Square, which I am convinced is one of the most beautiful city sites to be seen (albeit very cold).  However, if you go in the spring or summer time, I’m sure the city is much more colorful and Izmailovo market is probably much more interesting – when we were there in January, it was like an abandoned circus venue….. but I got my fur hats and Russian scarf at the market there (beware of the market vendors – they are very pushy!)

You cannot compare Saint Petersburg to Moscow – at least I could not.  They are completely different types of cities.  The thing I thought was most interesting about Moscow was the remnants of Soviet past – it was not uncommon to see an old Soviet-style building next to a brand new facility or classic style architecture.  This is not common in SPB.  In case you are wondering if Red Square is really that impressive, yes it most definitely is!  It is one of the coolest government squares that I have ever been to and it is breathtaking.  I’m afraid we did not get to see Lenin – as we were standing in line during the 3 hours you can actually get into the memorial, Sean realized I had left my teddy bear in the hotel room (and we had checked out), so we raced back to the hotel to try and find him.  Teddy bear I’ve owned since I was four years old is much more important than Lenin’s body in my book!

Anyhow, I definitely want to pencil in more time in Moscow during my hopeful next visit to Russia because it is definitely a stellar city and I know we did not even touch the perimeters of its offerings.  One final story, we boarded the train for Kiev around midnight and landed in Kupe (second class accommodations) with an older couple – probably in their 50’s.  The poor couple looked at us like, “oh no, we got stuck with English-speaking foreigners!”  So, I tried to speak with them in Russian a little bit and got drilled with question after question about where we were from and what life was like in the U.S.  Needless to say, we made two new friends and I didn’t get to sleep until about 2:30 a.m.  Note to the anti-social: train travel in Russia is not for you (unless you buy yourself a ticket in first class isolation).  Additionally, for those of you who are curious, the train from Moscow to Kiev does not pass through Belarus (no transit visa needed).  However, the train from Kiev to Petersburg does, so plan accordingly if you find yourselves traveling these routes!

enter the Metro.

Izmailovo Market.

enter Red Square while snowing.

Izmailovo Market.

outside Red Square (during New Year).

Matrioshka – Izmailovo Market.

Red Square.

Red Square.

me in front of Saint Basil’s.

Red Square during daytime.

a pensive Lenin in Izmailovo Market.

Red Square.

the little boy sliding down the hill outside the Kremlin – who needs a sled?

Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Snow men in Gorky Park.

looking at Red Square.

Izmailovo Market.

Red Square in the afternoon.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral.

Red Square.

Red Square in the evening.

Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Izmailovo Market.

Izmailovo Market.

outside Red Square.

Saint Basil’s.

Snowman in Gorky Park.

13 thoughts on “Moscow revisited.

  1. Wonderful photography. I’m not certain if you’re using a certain technique but the colors and contrast are just sublime.

    Unfortunately, I’ve not trekked to Moscow just yet, but from my modest world travels, I get the feeling that every major international city outside the US has a comprehensive, clean and efficient metro system that dwarfs and shames anything State-side.

  2. Russia. 2004. I went to visit my family in St. Petersburg. I was only fifteen years old and my mother had forced me to see five museums a day. I remember, when we first landed at the airport and my uncle picked us up, and he said, “There are only two road rules in Russia: follow the red and green light.” At that moment, he swerved off the road and onto the pathway, honking at the civilians to get out the way. I was scarred. I was nervous. And I got ripped off a couple of times. My great aunt also gave me the worst case of food poisoning that summer, but at the end of the trip, I didn’t want to leave. I even tried making a deal with my uncle to keep me. When you travel to St. Petersburg, you travel back in time. Nothing compares to it. Enjoy your stay.

    • I am now back in the United States, but hope to revisit again in the near future. I know what you mean about stepping back in time and the driving….. my first visit to Russia was in 1999 and I was a terrified passenger then and still would close my eyes when driving with friends more recently. In Russia, I think I learned to relax more and take life as it comes and this is what I miss most about living there. Hopefully, you will be able to go and visit your family again soon 🙂 It’s an endearing country!

  3. These pictures are so beautiful! Russia has always fascinated me, and I hope to be able to visit one day. You mentioned that you can’t compare St. Petersburg to Moscow–are they completely different? In some of the books I’ve read (Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina etc), it seemed like the characters had a definite preference for either Moscow or St. Petersburg. I always wondered what distinguished the two from each other.

  4. Lindsay,

    My motherland is Ukraine but spent the last 3 years in Australia. These pictures touch my soul and make me wanna go back. Russia and Ukraine have got such a specific feel to it. Somehow you managed to capture those tiniest details and show them in these pictures, especially the ones with pictures with people. So colourful, so cultural, so special.

    You are very good at what you are doing. Keep it up! Will visit your blog again.

    Best wishes,
    Roman.

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