Москва

Moscow (Москва, Mosk-var), was immediately different to St.Petersburg when we stepped out of the train station. A cold, misty morning and surrounded by a giant mass of soviet style concrete, now I feel like I am truly in Russia. I noticed that about sixty percent of the men in this area are wearing leather bomber jackets with matching leather flat caps. With the smell of stale smoke and booze in the air, you’d think I’d stepped into an old working man’s club flogging cheap del boy costumes.

Took a stroll down Арбат (Arbat), one of the main pedestrian streets in the centre of Moscow, which takes us all the way to Red Square and the Kremlin.

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Saint Basil’s cathedral, straight out of Disney land! The cathedral was build by Ivan the terrible to celebrate his victory over the Tatars. Named after Basil the simpleton, a beggar dressed in Loin cloths who loitered outside. Apparently Ivan was so pleased with the finished product, he ordered the architect have his eyes gauged out to prevent him ever creating anything as beautiful again. The guide book says this about every nice structure though, it makes you wonder why anyone would want to be an architect back then…

Inside the Kremlin, there are buildings ranging from Romanov imperial to Soviet modernism. The Kremlin is the seat of the Russian government and formally the centre of the Orthodox church.

Was looking at some fur hats outside, the salesman began to name the materials ‘rabbit, raccoon, fox’ for a joke I asked ‘you got any gorilla?’ to which he replied ‘gorilla, ha, gorilla, hahaha’. It defiantly tickled his sides, I walked back past ten minutes later and he was still laughing, Christ it wasn’t that funny.

Новодевичий монастырь (Novodevichy cemetery), is the final resting place of over two hundred famous Russian generals, mathematicians, inventors and presidents to name but a few, Boris Yeltsin’s tombstone being the main attraction.

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Yeltsin’s grave

The Moscow skyline from Sparrow hill, especially on a grey and wet day, is a unique site. From the top you can see the Olympic stadium, the commercial district and all of the soviet style skyscrapers that Stalin commissioned.

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Moscow from Sparrow hill

We returned to Red square on our last morning to try and see Lenin’s embalmed corpse, it was closed as they were building a new wall around the mausoleum, bummed out again. The same thing happened to me a few years back when I went to visit Ho Chi Ming in Hanoi, it seems I’m not destined to see the remains of any great communist leaders….

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Bummed out with Lenin

The soviet structures in Moscow are really jaw dropping. I keep expecting to see Batman pop up at any minute, he would fit right in with his silly leather clothes

 

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Moscow opera house

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Moscow University, one of the seven Stalin buildings and perfect example of Batman architecture

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Saints Cyril and Methodius, creators of Cyrillic script

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