Friday, May 13, 2016

Moscow, I Love You, Pt. 1

Sunday, May 1, 2016
I don't think I can say enough about how much I loved visiting Moscow. There is so much to see and do, and it's unlike any other city I've visited. It's a mix of European, Orthodox, Soviet, and modern architecture and there is history every where you go. Can you tell I love buildings and history? A and I spent the first three days just walking around the city, and we still haven't explored everything! We are already planning to go back this summer!
We arrived in Moscow around 7 am and waited around the VKO airport until 8 when we could catch the suburban train to the city. We couldn't check into our hotel until 2, so we decided to leave our baggage at the train station and then went across the street to a McDonald's for breakfast. We aren't exactly foodies and we were really hungry. Don't judge us! From the McDonald's and the train station you could see the modern skyscrapers in the distance. It was an awesome sight to see in my first hour in Moscow.
Afterwards, we decided to go to the center of the city, near the Kremlin and Red Square. Since we arrived on Labor Day weekend there were a lot of parades planned. We didn't actually take that into account when we went to the center, so we were surprised that everything was blocked off. There were policemen everywhere! It was really hard to figure out where to go and find a way out of the metro. Eventually, we just went through Охотный ряд (the mall near Red Square) and found an exit to the outside. We were only working on three hours of sleep, so I really just wanted to stay there all day, but A convinced me to get up to try to find another way to the Kremlin. Of course, I knew I would be right and that every entrance would be blocked, so we stopped into Кофе Хауз for a drink since we were really thirsty.
By the time we were finished we needed to go grab our bags and head to the hotel. I usually prefer to stay somewhere cheap, but since A is a freelancer and needs to work we stayed at Izmailovo Alfa Hotel. I would actually recommend the hotel, and, although it's far from the center, it's right across the street from a metro station. We both fell asleep as soon as we got in the room. I woke up around 5 and made myself get up because I knew I wouldn't be able to fall asleep that night if I slept until 9.
We went back to Охотный ряд to get Mexican food at Chico's California Grill for dinner. I miss Mexican food so much so I usually take any opportunity I can to eat it when it's available. Also,  if you go to the website you'll notice it looks like a Chipotle knock off. Oh, Russia. By this time Red Square was open again, so we did the typical touristy things like take pictures near St. Basil's Cathedral and walk around ГУМ (GUM).
The amount of Soviet flags I saw that day was mind boggling.

If you are planning to go to Moscow I would highly suggest checking out Polly's blog, Let's Love Local. She has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers, and she has tons of information on Moscow since she lived there for 5 years. We followed some of her suggestions on our trip and every single one was great. She has an extensive guide for purchase here.

6 comments

  1. Wow Moscow looks stunning, your photos are fantastic!

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    1. It is stunning! Unfortunately, it's so much different than the rest of Russia. If you want to experience "Russia" you have to go to other cities, but it was totally worth the visit and I can't want to go back.

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  2. I remember there used to be a lot of Soviet flags and Communist Party demonstrators in Kharkiv... usually they'd be hanging out around the metro stops and shouting things on a microphone. Not anymore, that's for sure ;)

    Polly's blog is awesome!

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    1. I think the thing that gets me about the Soviet flags is that Russians have so much pride for the good things that happened but then are quick to say, "We are not the Soviet Union" when it comes to the bad things.

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  3. oooh, so many beautiful buildings!

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    1. It was so beautiful! The entire city was! I hope you get a chance to visit some day. ;)

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