GULAG History Museum existed I knew I had to go.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
If I were to give you travel advice it would be to figure out what you like to see and do before you go on your trip. If you like art go to art museums, if you like history go to that really historical spot. I wish I would have thought of this before I went to Southeast Asia, heck, even when I'd visit new cities in the USA. Alas, traveling is a growing experience as much as an experience to learn about a new culture. Okay, that's about as inspirational as I'll get on this blog because I'm not an inspirational person, nor do I want to be. What I'm trying to say is that if you figure out what you like it'll make you feel like your trip was worthwhile.
Right before I moved to Russia I realized I really liked unusual things and abandoned places. This blog is like my own personal Atlas Obscura. I was a history major so I like going to historic places, especially related to World War I and World War II, but I also like those unknown places. I know I say this a lot, but I really like the challenge of finding something unusual online and then going out and trying to find that place in real life. On our first trip to Moscow we saw all those touristy spots, which I totally recommend in Moscow because they are worth it. Our second trip was an opportunity to go see those weird places. Plus, I didn't procrastinate to make a list on our second trip which meant I already had an idea of what we should see. Below I have a list of 3 unusual places you should see.
Children are the Victims of Adults' Vices Monument
This monument is within walking distance of the Kremlin. It may be frightening, but I was surprised when A told me it was "really cool" because we usually don't agree on what we find "cool." The monument was created by Mihail Chemiakin in 2001 and gifted to the city of Moscow. It depicts statues of 13 evils with two children playing in the foreground unaware of what surrounds them. The center statue depicts indifference which, not to get too political, I think is the most dangerous of all the evils. My favorite statue was "war" which contains a man wearing a gas mask holding a bomb with Mickey Mouses' head. I don't know why that one is my favorite, but maybe because I find the social aspect of war and it's impact fascinating. I'll clarify that I do not condone war, but I think studying it is fascinating, which again is why I like learning about World War I and II. This blog has a great description of each figure if you'd like to know more or read a more elegant recollection of the piece.
Fallen Monuments Park
This is one strange park, and, to be honest, I'm not at all surprised one of these exists in Russia. Right within the MUZEON grounds and next to Krymsky Val you can't miss this unusual park. After the collapse of the Soviet Union many of the statues of former communist leaders were taken down and brought to the park. In the 1990s the park began adding more modern sculptures eventually arranging them into the display you see today. As someone who is obsessed with Vladimir Lenin statues I was having a field day here! There were so many statues of him, and I really had to pace myself and not go overboard with too many Lenin selfies. It was also pretty eerie seeing statues of Josef Stalin. I know it wasn't really him but it's still an unsettling feeling seeing so many statues of him.
Giant Chess Board
I don't play chess but if I did I would have definitely come to play on this chess board. Not to be confused with the Chessboard Killer, this large size chessboard is right outside Trubnaya Station in Цветной бульвар (Tsvetnoy bul'var). It's also really close to BB & Burgers if you are looking for somewhere delicious to eat! I tried to find information on this place, but unfortunately my search left me dry. I'd also like to know how this exists without people stealing it or maybe it's only in America where you have to worry about people stealing public property. If you have any information, let me know!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Novodevichiy pr-d, Moskva, Russia, 119435
Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland. I'm the sort of person who likes scavenger hunts or trying to figure things out. I had fun trying find various headstones and places of interest in the cemetery. It's probably why my hobbies are looking for abandoned places online and Facebook stalking. (Seriously, give me a name and I can probably find the information of that person your looking for.) Novodevichy Cemetery was similar to Lake View Cemetery. Anyone who is anyone in Moscow is buried here including writers, presidents, and cosmonauts. Hint: You don't need a guide to go through the cemetery unless you want a more detailed visit. At the entrance there is a map and list of all the famous people buried in the cemetery. Everything is written in Russian, so I recommended you learn the alphabet before you go. You'll be able to sound out names just knowing the alphabet. Believe me, knowing the alphabet is how I survive in Russia.
this video you definitely should take a look. He just seems like such a fun guy! To find his tomb all you need to do is walk straight up the main path until you come to the intersection of another large path. Look to the left and it's hard to miss. It's probably the least photogenic thing I've ever come across. My friend said you could probably take shots right off of it and now I think that is probably why it was designed like this. Just kidding!
What do you think of Novodevichy Cemetery? Would you go? What famous tombstone would you like to see?
Note: Lenin and Stalin, as well as a few others, are buried in the Kremlin.