Moscow I – The Jewel in my Trans-Siberian Crown

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The Bolshoi Theatre in a dramatic light festival - Bouncing like a Trampoline!

I knew very little about Moscow before I got here although I had wanted to come forever. I knew there was a kremlin, a very funky church, a red square and that Putin might be around.

I knew most travellers either didn’t like it or certainly didn’t like it as much as St Petersburg.

I knew that, apart from St Petersburg, it was the culmination of my planned trip in Russia, the last of my “must-do”s, and the end of my “trans-siberian” adventure. With a month still left on my visa, this meant a time to stop, slow down and just enjoy!

Moscow was also the setting for “Gorky Park”, the gripping thriller I had just finished reading on the train. My imagination was filled with spies, intrigue, murder and the desire to see what you can’t see, to read behind the lines.

I was elated from the moment I stepped off the train from Kazan at Kazanski Station and plunged into the crowded, jostling metro I had heard so much about. It was fine of course if you could read the cyrillic signs (if not, good luck!!) and grand beyond your imagination with great Soviet designed halls, mosaics, frescoes and statues adorning the stations like palaces.

I felt immediately at home. After a week, I didn’t want to leave and was plotting ways to come back to live!

A lovely friend of a friend (you both know who you are) took me to the famous Ismaylovo Markets, cooked me dinner and shared her tales of ex-pat life. An amazing bonus.

I visited numerous museums, parks, you name it. But most of all, I retired from my job as tourist and just did what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it…

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Interior of a hall at Kazanski Station - under repair

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Top of the Lifts in the Tube Station

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Dubious pillow design at a perfectly located, "bed-bug"-free hostel

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First view of the Kremlin from the end of my street!

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Cathedral of Christ the Saviour where Pussy Riot filmed their You Tube clip that landed them in jail - just down a side street from "home"

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The classic hat souvenir

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Not so classic "matrushka" stacking dolls

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Love these Soviet posters! We went to the market on a week day - nice and quiet!

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Hoping not to need these...

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