I have returned from my adventures in the capital of Russia, Moscow. If I had to summarise my adventure in three words - bewildering, stunning and inspiring. I have to say even though it was cold, I would definitely consider going to Moscow again although it would have been easier if I had a Russian speaking guide as the language and alphabet can be quite confusing to the silly foreigner (i.e. myself).
I felt like a true tourist in Moscow, but it was a wonderful place to visit despite warnings of unfriendly Muscovites which is true to an extent. In contrast to NYC it was so different.
On our first day we visited Red Square and ventured inside St. Basils Cathedral –I have to say it is definitely one of the best buildings I have ever seen in all my travels. Beautiful would be an understatement. We then managed to find our way around the Kremlin to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts featuring a large collection of ancient artifacts from Egyptian to Greek culture and various others. It also had a special exhibition of Le Corbusier’s work ranging from painting, textile, photography and architectural drawings that were really interesting also.
Our second day, we went to the Tretyakov Gallery which featured lots of traditional Russian art in a style similar to the Renaissance painters. The architecture in Moscow, I was in complete awe of - it chops and changes from beautiful decorative buildings to Soviet style buildings, each as grand of the other as their own polar opposites.
Friday - We went to the Memorial of Cosmonauts, another absolutely breathtaking spectacle of awe for myself of a gigantic steel rocket monument and a array of sculpture figures to commemorate Soviet cosmonauts. It is the entrance to the Space Museum – which features a large exhibition of space related items that I found fascinating with a certain kitsch feel to it of being in a set of a 1960s sci-fi film. It also has Belka and Strelka immortalized in taxidermy, the two space dogs which survived their space voyage and landed safely back to earth. We also had a cycle on a two-person bicycle around the All Russia Exhibition Centre that had a variety of an odd collection of buildings and a theme park. I also visited Leo Tolstoy's house which was also filled with beautiful crafts made by his own family.
I found some lovely children’s illustration books in Izmailovsky Market – the best place in Moscow for cheap Russian souvenirs, antiques and lots of other curiosities for all kinds of tastes. I purchased a Laika postcard from 1958, Russian stamps and badges. You could easily spend a whole day there rummaging around and find some wonderful Soviet and Russian items. There are a few other places I haven't had a chance to mention but overall my trip to Moscow was a bizarre but very culturally interesting and I hope I can return again.