Our ‘night on the town’ in Moscow knocked me out. Getting home from the club at 7am, paired with 14 time zones worth of jet lag makes for one VERY tired Brock.
As a result, my second day in Russia’s capital was spent in a deep, deep sleep.
Once I was rested up I took on the city with excitement. With the amount of history all around, specifically that of the Soviet days, there was much to explore.
Monuments and Parks
Darren and I headed first to a monument park. From Lenin to CCCP, it felt like a place where statues go to die. We snapped some photos with some of our favourites then headed on to Gorky Park.
I had been told that Moscow had a number of great parks and that Gorky was one of the best.
My impression of Russians was that they have this cold, ‘we don’t smile’ persona, so I was intrigued by the idea of people frolicking in a park.
Relaxing on the grass eating ice cream, walking hand in hand down tree lined pathways, even swing dancing on stages – Russians know how to relax and let lose.
We enjoyed some ice cream alongside our fellow park goers then headed back to our hostel, Chillax Hostels, before sunset.
As I’d only seen Red Square at night, we headed back to explore it during daylight. Once again, I found myself marvelling at the candy like St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Even though Red Square was being prepped for a massive show starting a week after our visit, I could still feel it’s power and importance.
It was free, so what have you got to lose?
Now, there is conflicting opinions as to whether it is in fact his actual body, but regardless, when you visit there are a few very strict and very enforced rules:
1. You must not stop walking.
2. You must not put your hands in your pockets.
3. You must not talk.
4. You must not bring anything but yourself into the mausoleum.
INSIDER TIP: As you enter the mausoleum, walk as slowly as possible to allow your eyes the time to adjust. I didn’t know this and cruised through. It wasn’t until I was nearly finished my visit that I could actually see his body.
With more photos of Red Square than any album needs, we headed out to see a stunning University building. I’ll let it speak for itself.
Metros and Friends
If there was one thing I knew I had to do before leaving Moscow, it was to explore the metro.
Countless people had told me that some of the city’s metro stations were the most beautiful they’d ever seen. With some online research and recommendations from our hostel, we mapped out a route and headed underground.
From statues that tell a story, to murals, to intricate finishings – the stations we saw blew my mind.
So much time and money would have been put into making these transit points works of art.
If only the TTC back home in Toronto had the same marvellousness.
Riding the metro is so inexpensive to begin with, so if you want to experience something amazing and cheap to boot, just head below ground.
Insider Tip: Avoid rush hour if you plan to take artistic photos.
To finish off my visit to Moscow, I was invited to dinner with Igor, my Russian friend who I met and drank vodka with on my plane ride to Russia.
He took myself, Darren and an Aussie girl from my hostel out to a trendy restaurant downtown. Upon his recommendation we tried two styles of horse meat: stewed and cured.
I didn’t mind it cured, but stewed – not so much.
Horst meat aside, the dinner was lovely.
Telling Igor about my time in his city was such a treat. He had given me so many suggestions upon my arrival and made sure I got into the city safely so I enjoyed telling him how my adventures in Moscow played out.
One of the best parts of travelling for me is the people I meet. I am so fortunate to have friends all over this globe and I can now say I have a very good friend in Moscow, Russia.
Thank you Igor!
Having experienced the nightlife, metro, food, architecture and all around charisma of Moscow, it was time to head to St. Petersburg.
Have you been to Moscow? If not, is it on your list of places to visit?!