Blogs from Moscow, Northwest, Russia, Europe


Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow September 4th 2022

Over the years, combined with my love for trains, metros, and public transportation, I have been fortunate to find some of the most beautiful stations in the world. Here are a few of my favorites (with help from tripsavvy): Komsomolskaya Station, Moscow (above) With its crystal chandeliers, marble pillars, and golden mosaics, you’d almost expect Moscow’s commuters to waltz through Komsomolskaya Station on their way to the platform. Constructed in 1952, the space was inspired by a wartime speech of Stalin, and the creative duo behind its extravagance (Artist Pavel Korin and architect Alexey Schusev) even won the Stalin prize for their work. Beyond its beauty is a blatant political mission. The station was also designed to promote Soviet propaganda, so you’ll find sculptures of fallen leaders and scenes depicting moments of Russian history. I was ... read more
St Pancras station, London
Santiago metro
Moscow train station

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow March 4th 2022

Here is the last entry of our 5 weeks spent in Russia in these trouble times of 2022. Initially we were going to leave St Petersburg on the 12th of March, but we ended up re-booking our flight five days ahead of the schedule time. Result of this was our stay in Moscow would be shortened by few days too. The think I miss about the last 3 blogs is not to have been able to share great pictures of the great friends we met over the last 5 weeks. But let say that this part will stay private. We landed late Friday afternoon in Moscow arriving from Sochi and would leave on the Sunday late afternoon by the speed train to St Petersburg. Little point to note, in Moscow you spend a lot more time ... read more
Kremlin to ourselves...
Sunday morning market...
St Basil...

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow January 5th 2022

I have been to some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world. Europe definitely has the best, followed by Asia. The US is a distant LAST! Syntagma metro station, Athens, Greece A transfer point between Athens Metro lines 1 and 2, Syntagma is not your average station. Considering the city's illustrious history, it maybe won't come as a surprise that the station is part museum. Located beneath the Syntagma Square, there are many antiquities on display at the station that were found during the construction. Aside from the ancient artifacts, there are also works from many contemporary Greek artists. The problem? It is a major transfer point, and everybody is running around like a Greek chicken with its head cut off!Szent Gellért tér Station, Budapest, HungaryAuthorities don't always​ need to spend ... read more
My first Metro visit
Moscow metro station

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow December 31st 2021

The name "Kremlin" means "fortress inside a city" and that is where our tour started today in cathedral square. Anna explained the traditions of the New Year Tree. From the forest to the heart of Moscow: Kremlin’s New Year tree is about 28 metres tall and the span of its lower branches around ten metres As tradition has it, the selection for a tree starts back in April and this year 37 fir trees were scrutinised. Contestants vying for the status of the country’s chief fir tree, undergo a careful selection procedure and must conform to a number of key parameters, including height, age and the span of branches. As the tour ended Anna too us out through the Spasskaya Tower with its imposing clock and into Red square. A wonderful end to Anna’s tours for ... read more

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 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 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

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