Blogs from Moscow, Northwest, Russia, Europe

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Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow November 15th 2021

The first metro system built in Russia, the Moscow metro glorified the technological progress of the Soviet Union and is today one of the world's busiest subway systems. It is most famous for its extravagant and unique interior design, exalted as the 'Palace of the People'. Opened in 1935 with just 13 stations that Moscow Metro just keeps growing and growing - now there are over 180 stops and over nine million users a day. In comparison, the London Underground handles a mere 5 million journeys a day. Ploshchad Revolyutsii Station Ploshchad is decorated with 76 sculptures one cut into each corner of each column, arranged thematically moving from parents with their children to athletes, students to farmers, industrial workers to hunters to soldiers. There is also a frontier guard with a dog whose nose people ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow October 17th 2021

Fear is like a gas...a cloud that can linger...weakening if breathed in. Being an anticipation...like a gas it can be blown or simply drift away. I have often experienced fear...but rarely terror. Terror is like a liquid...beyond anticipation...beyond fear...helpless...nothing more I can do here...resigned to my fate. Only when the cause departs does terror slither away. If catastrophe is the solid...I would not be here to tell this tale. Yet at the time I could see no chance that we would survive without injury that day. Uzbekistan flight to Moscow to catch our 11:55pm plane home...our double entry Russian visa expiring 5 minutes later at 12 midnight. Train travellers from Russia to Ukraine caught as their train delayed before the border...detained by boarding police as their visas expired during the delay. Surely can't happen to us! ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow July 27th 2021

After flying through Novosiberisk again, and again at the airport hotel and bar, most of us continued on another 6 hour flight to Moscow, with a few going to St Petersburg. Here there were some changes as most people were returning to Dubai and waited to get the Covid rapid test before checking in. However, Luke and I were going to stay a couple of nights in Moscow to do some sight seeing. Initially, it was intended to not be rushed home, but now I was supposed to extend my stay as part of a 14 day quarantine to go to Saudi Arabia. We finally found the express train to the city center, getting business class tickets and having an empty car for the 40 minute journey. We arrived and found our way to the correct ... read more
Komsomolskaya Station
Kievskaya Station
Ploschad Revolyutsii

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow April 5th 2021

21st March - Sokolinaya Gora District, Moscow #heygo http://www.heygo.com Within a few yards of where our tour started, was a KFC, Macdonalds Although not at this location we heard about the first McDonald’s in Soviet Russia. The Moscow McDonald’s initiative was a joint venture between McDonald’s of Canada and the Moscow city council, a plan first envisioned when George Cohon, founder, and CEO of McDonald’s Canada, met Soviet Union officials at the ’76 Summer Olympics in Montreal. And almost a quarter of a century later, on January 31st, 1990 it became a reality. At the time of its construction, it was the largest McDonald’s restaurant in the world. A venue with 900 seats with a staff of about 600 workers that were carefully selected from 35,000 applicants. Reportedly, it was expected to serve around 1,000 during ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow January 24th 2021

17th January Today’s tour in Moscow was to Zaryadye Park. It was minus 17 degrees but our guide Anna was well wrapped up. As we entered the Park area we passed The Old English Court, a stone mansion erected in the early 16th century, one of the earliest surviving specimens of Moscow's secular architecture. Most importantly it witnessed the birth of Anglo-Russian relations in the age of Ivan IV (the Terrible) and Elizabeth I. For it was here from 1556 to 1649 that the first English trading and ambassadorial office in Moscow was located, the first official residence of a Western power in the Russian capital. The bulldozers were out clearing the snow and whizzed passed Anna as she explained about the history of the building. Next to the Old Courthouse was the Church of St. ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow January 24th 2021

21st January We started our tour at The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the most important cathedral in Moscow, even before the Cathedral of St. Basil, with a unique and bizarre history that dates back to the nineteenth century and still continues to this day. In addition, it is the highest orthodox temple in the world. Tsar Alexander I wanted a temple to be erected in Moscow, with the name of Christ the Saviour, in honor of those who fought and died in the Patriotic War of 1812. However, after some historical ups and downs and circumstances in the designs, it was not until 1839, already in the time of Tsar Nicholas I, when the first stone was laid. It was built for almost 44 years, between 1839 and 1883, when it was completed and opened ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow January 20th 2021

4th December 2020 Another visit to Moscow With Anna as our guide again we walked through one of the oldest quarters of Moscow, the Kitay Gorod neighborhood strolling the ancient Nikolskaya Street. With all the overhead lights it looked so pretty and I have already booked a return visit at night at the end of the month to fully appreciate the illuminations, We saw the infamous KGB building originally built for the insurance company Rossiya which became better known for housing the headquarters of the KGB. We also ventured into the hidden & very quiet courtyard of the monastery contrasting with the hustle & bustle of the street. Nikolskaya Street houses the first Printing House in Moscow and many other interesting buildings including the Zaikonospasskiy Monastery... read more
Nikolskaya Street

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow January 20th 2021

28th December 2020 I visited Nikolskaya Street with Anna a couple of weeks back and this afternoon I was pleased to revisit to see all the beautiful illuminations which were introduced during the FIFA world club and are now a permanent feature. It was good to hear again all about the historic buildings, the Old Mint, the First printer & publishers, the Greek Monastery of St. Nicholas and the famous Ferrein pharmacy. The Ferrein pharmacy was the largest in Europe back in 1862 . Its large rooms were decorated with gilded vases, carved oak cabinets, chandeliers and statues. Marble staircase with wrought iron railings lead from one floor to another. Stuffed bears met the visitors of the main hall. Christmas in Russia is most widely celebrated on January 7. This is because the Russian Orthodox Church ... read more

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow November 15th 2020

Did you know the Japanese provided safe passage through Japan for Jews escaping from Europe to escape extermination by the Nazis in the Second World War? Hitler sent emissaries to get Japan to cease and they refused. About 24,000 Jews were saved before a Japanese leadership change resulted in incarceration in Shanghai instead. In 1919 the Japanese while fighting alongside the White Russians against the Bolshevik communists, were introduced to an anti-Semitic Russian publication advocating that the Jews were planning economic World domination. The Japanese having their own desires for World domination saw potential and formulated a plan to have Jews from Europe settle in Manchuria and help Japan financially become an economic power. A plan so audacious they called it the Fugu Plan...like the seafood delicacy...if not prepared carefully its poison could kill the consumer. ... read more
The Whites counted on anti-Semitism
Jewish family 1903
The 1905 Revolution

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow October 8th 2020

I was not born a Cossack...nor a Tatar of the Golden Horde...a horseman of the outback nor the Snowy River. I learnt to ride when I was four...but born to the saddle I was not. We lived in Castle Hill...in those days a rural outer suburb of Sydney...our father the local doctor. Led to the stalls with my big sister for our first riding lesson...stable door swinging open...a massive glossy-brown muscled beast on its hind legs rearing out...neighing nay braying...its hooves right there in front of us...bigger than big. Just time to draw breath. And in a flash I was out of there!!! Pretty tiny...blonde and fast...really fast...as fast as my little greyhound legs would take me. Out the farm gate...down the dirt road to Old Northern Road...the main road the circus used to march with ... read more




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