Watching “The Nutcracker” performed by the Bolshoi ballet in Moscow’s Kremlin was one of the highlights of my trip to Russia. The setting, the music, costumes and the performances were perfect! Storytelling by young men and women with long legs jumping and spinning around the stage on their toes while wearing funky costumes = priceless.
Waking up early in the morning, I pack my knapsack with my guidebook, a map of Moscow, a traveller’s dictionary, bottle of water and a camera, all ready to explore the top attractions of Moscow, and by extension, Russia. After my riding the crowded Moscow metro for the first time, I get off at Ploshchad Revolyutsi subway station and head straight for the Red Square.
Russians are often stereotyped to be a serious, cold and unfriendly bunch. I deployed some tried and tested friend-making-tactics, and the results introduced me to the real warmth and hospitality of the common Russian people.
It seems that in Russian train there are these industrial water heating units called Samovar (Самовар / समोवर) in each compartment. As soon as my train departed Moscow, everyone, young and old, grabbed their mugs and lined up at the samovar for some hot water. It was very interesting to watch this!
Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge on river Moskva and Kremlin at the back. You can see some Administrative and Religious buildings such as Great Kremlin Presidential Palace, Annunciation Cathedral, etc.
Moscow looks beautiful at night and walking in the area around the Kremlin will yield to several photo opportunities.
On one end of the pedestrian-only Arbat street, arguably one of the oldest surviving street in Moscow is a colourful wall built on the theme of international friendship. School children were asked to paint each tile of the wall back in the Soviet times, now the wall is covered in graffiti (and chewing gum)
Russia is among the few countries in the world which imposes conscription on male citizens, although there are a number of ways to avoid military draft. One can easily see a large number of soldiers in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Read more in this week’s ‘Photo Friday‘
Situated to the north eastern side of Moscow are a number of ancient towns that were key to the formation of the Russian Orthodox Church. These cities are collectively called the “The Golden Ring.”
These cities are located on the outskirts of Moscow and it is fascinating to see how the scenery changes from hectic urban to leisurely rural, with people smiling at you, cheap food and overall relaxed pace of doing things.
Part of Rouble chronicles Russian travelogue series.
Dmitrov (Дмитров/द्मीत्रोव) is a town on the northern outskirts of Moscow and close to the Sheremetyevo airport from where I was scheduled to fly out to Mumbai. This town was not in Lonely Planet guidebook and so I didn’t know about it at all. What I discovered there was a pleasant surprise!