Russia
Zamoskvorech’ye

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  • Day15

    Majestic Metro

    August 8, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Found a park to eat our sarnies & try & recover. Decided to head to the famous Gorky Park - a stretch of the Moskva River where there isn't a busy road. Admittedly there was the suggestion of a theme park but some of it should be a bit calmer. Wandered to the next metro stop - suggested that this was one of stops not to be missed. Of the stops so far it was certainly ornate & I wasn't the only nutter taking photos. Headed for the sculpture park where a number of communist statues have been rehoused. Plenty of shade helped & eventually being able to get a drink also helped cool off. By accident the statue of Peter the Great was found. From that point forward it couldn't be missed. Apparently it was a statue rejected by the Yanks which doesn't endear it to the locals, it is a bit bizarre looking & the siting of it is a little questionable since he apparently detested Moscow. Talking of detesting onwards towards the theme park, except it was nowhere to be seen, just more parkland the other side of the bridge. Good news.Read more

  • Day16

    Metro Madness

    August 9, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    By now, following a day of space museums, Liz was feeling a little worse for wear. The thought of more out & about - let alone to the pub to watch Liverpool didn't agree. So a solo excursion - take in a few of the more impressive metro stops & if the pub could be found take in the match. Dry & warm clothing on & rain having stopped headed to the local metro & began a metro odysey. I wasn't the only freak either. Admittedly the two tour groups were Japanese, who take photos of anything. Anyway some very impressive stops. Spent a couple of hours hopping on & off trains. By the time I was done there was a mere 30 mins to kick off. It'd be rude not to. Liverpool shirts outside directed in the appropriate direction. Ordered a beer & a sarnie & local noticed the jersey - conversation started & the beer was on the house. This could get messy. Great atmosphere & great result - nice to talk to some locals even if largely it was about the mighty reds.Read more

  • Day18

    Top secret.

    August 11, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Previously (on 24... No) during the downpour day indoor options had been investigated, largely with little success. The 1 intriguing option happened to be just round the corner - a top secret bunker that had just a year ago been declassified & was now open to the public. Had to be booked in advance & the only English tour was at 7pm on Sunday - packing time. Liz wasn't remotely interested so flying solo on this one. Access was a little cloak & dagger as well. Through a barrier, press the buzzer until you are met. This will only be answered 10 mins before the tour up until the tour - don't be late! As it was I followed a group in - easy. Met the guide & began the descent. Down 20m through a 10 tonne blast door, then a 1.5 hermetically sealed door. Along a 20m corridor so we were under the Kindergarten. Then down another 60m shaft - 2 more sealed doors & we were in. No messing around here. This was one of 20 bunkers under Moscow - most linked upto the Metro, which also had to capability to be sealed off. It stored the minister for foreign affairs' secret documents and was in use up until 2008. A lot was still operational - ventilation, air conditioning, communications, alarm ... but not the lift. And even here 80m below the surface of Moscow - still there's a Manc to be found. Bahh! Some of stuff was grim but fascinating - the way they tested the effects of differing levels of radiation on soldiers so they could predict the number of deaths (citizens out of service) in the wider population. At least we know what to do in the case of a nuclear warning - go online.Read more

  • Day5

    To Russia With Love!

    June 12, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    A quick trip on the efficient S-Bahn (suburban railway) to Berlin's Ostbahnhof Station for the next keg if my journey - the 22 hour trip on the Berlin to Moscow sleeper train. I was pleasantly surprised at the sleek modern (Spanish built) train and the immaculate stewards positioned to welcome us at each carriage. Our steward was Viktor Gorbachev (no relation) who spoke little English but was very helpful. I was in a 4 berth cabin - 4 daytime seats which converted into 4 comfortable sleeping berths, with sheet, duvet and pillow. I had 4 travelling companions - two men from Germany, and a father and his toddler daughter who shared a berth - literally four men and a little lady! The wee girl was very sweet and didn't cry or make a noise all night. She was delighted when I gave her a little compact mirror with a Scottish design and kept showing it to me. Well, it was either that or a miniature of Grouse!

    As my travelling companions tucked into their black bread sandwiches a smoked sausage picnics, I ventured to the dining car - a bright modern compartment with good views of the surrounding scenery - aren't these German / Polish / Belarusian/ Russian trees beautiful! I met an Australian couple - Rob and Merril - from Lennox! New South Wales. They were hoteliers who owned their own hotel / pubs and were great fun - we hit it off and spend several hours chatting. The menu looked interesting until we were advised most things were 'aff', so dinner was Borsch (beetroot soup), black bread and a chicken Caesar salad, washed down with a German beer (no Tennents here, Dad!).

    We traveled though Germany and slipped into Poland, taking on more passengers in Warsaw. I was in the lower bunk and dozed off to sleep, only to be woken by Viktor at 3.30am telling us we were approaching the border with Belarus. This involved us all getting up, completing an immigration card, and looking out our papers as Custom and Border Control officials inspected us. After about an hour, the train rolled over a bridge a few hundred metres into Belarus, where we had to go though the same procedure with the Belarusian authorities. So after about 2 hours we were allowed to go on our way and my fellow Russian companions, who only spoke to me in German, instructed me 'mehr schlaf' (more sleep). I dutifully returned to my bunk and slept for 4 hours. Father and daughter got off in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, which gave us much more space in view of the amount of luggage they had.I joined my Aussie friends for breakfast - the menu hadn't increased, but a pale-looking ham and cheese omelette and coffee sufficed. In spite of our delays at the border, the train rolled into Moscow's Belorussky Station dead on time. One of my German travelling companions asked if I had a 'Frau' in Moscow. Sadly I said I didn't, but he proudly exclaimed he did. She met him at the station and I thought initially she was his daughter or granddaughter, but the passionate embrace indicated otherwise. She was a lovely young women with good English, who insisted on driving me to my hotel. This saved me the ordeal of negotiating the Moscow Metro with my luggage and I was extremely grateful.

    The small hotel Sadovnicheskaya was beautifully decorated and the young man on reception recommended a good Russian restaurant nearby. I had a hearty meal of Solyanka soup, black bread, beef stroganoff, mashed potatoes and cabbage - delicious - and washed down with a small jug of ice cold vodka. Well, when in Rome...
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  • Day6

    Red Rob

    June 13, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    What a huge city Moscow is - so many grand buildings, columns, turrets and golden onion domes. I managed to get a Russian SIM card and the young girl in the mobile phone shop kindly put it in for me (so to speak!). I then braved the famous Moscow underground - much deeper than ours at home, but very grand stations. I had a lovely walk around the centre - did you spot Max at the Bolshoi? The weather was not so good today and when heavy rain came on I decided to try out one of Moscow's top recommendations- a Russian banya or bath house. The Sanduny banya is the oldest and most luxurious in the city (check their website www.sanduny.ru). What an experience - the rooms were so hot you had to wear a felt hat - and the ice cold plunge pools must have had water piped from Siberia. To finish off I went for the traditional beating with birch leaves. I was allowed to keep my hat and birch leaves as a souvenir!

    With the rain now off, I had a lovely walk round Red Square - such fabulous buildings. Did you spot Max at St Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin? I call him Karl Max here. My walk continued along the Moscow River to the colossal statue of Peter the Great - breathtaking, finishing up at Gorky Park. Knackered and ready for bed!
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  • Day5

    Wilkommen in Berlin!

    June 12, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    What a lovely day I have had in Berlin. The sun was shining all day and it was a hot 28 degrees C. I got up early at 7am and after a quick breakfast in the hotel I set off on a morning walking tour. Being early on a a Sunday morning it was really quiet and within a short time I had crossed the River Spree and arrived at the Reichstag - another building where mum, dad, Campbell and I climbed to the top of the Norman Foster designed glass dome. Then to the symbol of Berlin - the Brandenburg Gate - can you spot a tiny Max in the photo?

    A walk though the haunting Memorial to the Murdered Jews was thought provoking as was the nearby Memorial to the persecuted LGBT community. The Tiergarden park was beautiful in the morning sunshine. Then a walk along the famous Unter Der Linden street to Berlin Cathedral and I watched the river boats plying around Museum Island. A good spot for a selfie I thought, until my camera fell over the wall of the bridge to the riverbank below! In spite of the crash, it still seems to be working, although it's a little dented. Thank goodness I didn't bring my good Canon.

    It was so hot I decided to hop on a City Tour bus which gave a great overview of Berlin - the Victory Column, Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, Kurfürstendamm, Kaiser William Memorial Church, and a remaining segment of the Berlin Wall. I arrived back just as a huge cycle event was taking place - literally thousands of bikes brought all the main roads to a standstill in some kind of Green statement - wonderful to see.

    In the afternoon I decided to go to a matinee show of the Disney musical - The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Although it was in German I was able to follow (most of) the story. It really was a great show with some super performances and moving scenes. It got a standing ovation at the end and I wonder why it has never been to the West End or Broadway.
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  • Day7

    Kool Kremlin

    June 14, 2017 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Well the Kremlin seems to be as hard to get into as it ever was! However I eventually managed to work it out and, after an unusual early breakfast involving pickled herring and tiramisu (don't ask!) I got off to an early start to beat the queues for Moscow's biggest attraction. And boy was it worth it! It was a thrill to walk through one of the huge intimidating gates and explore this famous complex. No less than four Cathedrals are contained within this ancient citadel. The sun shone, and the golden onions domes gleamed beautifully. The highlight however was getting a ticket for the Armoury before they sold out. An incredible treasure trove of Tsars' jewellery, regalia, weapons, costumes and state coaches - breathtaking!

    After all this, I pushed the boat out and treated myself to a lovely late lunch at the fabulous Cafe Pushkin. Fish soup served with pasties stuffed with more fish, and a glass of vodka, followed by suckling pig served with barley - tasty! A bus tour saw the weather change from glorious sunshine into a torrential downpour and a thunderstorm. The lady from Siberia sitting next to me shared her blanket and umbrella and we had a laugh together, although neither of us understood a word of what each other was saying. She seemed delighted when I gave her a small Scottish thistle pin badge in return.

    The evening was spent walking along Arbat Street - the new revitalised trendy area of Moscow full of bars and restaurants. Then back on the underground - still confusing as its hard to make out the Russian names, and lines sharing the same station all have different names! No more vodka for me tonight!
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  • Day2

    Normale Geschäfte

    January 25, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ -12 °C

    Im Cafė Bosco genießen wir Tee und Tartelets, bevor wir das riesige GUM betreten und uns schnell klar wird, dass das Berliner KADEWE im Vergleich nicht mehr als ein Kiosk ist. Architektonisch ist das GUM ein dreigängiger, sandfarbener Traum mit schniedeisernen Geländern und hellem großzügigen Ambiente. Unter dem filigranen Glasdach reihen sich die Marken der Upper Class dicht aneinander. Manolo Blahnik neben Gucci, gefolgt von Hermes, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vitton, Tiffany & Co. Ich amüsiere mich köstlich als Ole mit beinah erleichterndem Erstaunen ausruft: "Schau mal, es gibt auch normale Geschäfte" und zeigt auf den Calvin Klein Store. Ja, die Relationen definieren sich neu im schönen Moskau 😂Read more

  • Day1

    Pick up by Jewgenij

    January 24, 2019 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ -11 °C

    Ankunft in Moskau bei Sonnenuntergang. Insbesondere Ole ist froh, dass er den Vogel verlassen kann, da er aufgrund mangelnder Beinfreiheit sich gefühlt hat wie ein Käse im Sandwich. Der Fahrer meiner langjährigen Freundin Natascha holt uns am Flughafen Vnukowo ab. Schnell krame ich die letztverbliebenen Russischvokabeln heraus und starte eine erste Konversation. Leider fällt mir das Wort für "langsam" nicht ein, so dass ich nur jedes zehnte Wort verstehe und die Zusammenhänge zwischen seinem Bruder auf der Krim, Putin und den Quadratmeterpreisen für Wohnungen in Moskau nur erahnen kann. So versuche ich zu Jenia zu folgen, lausche seinem fröhlichen Geplauder in meiner geliebten Sprache Russisch, derer ich nur noch ansatzweise mächtig bin, während goldbekuppelte Kirchen, die berühmte Lomonossow Universität und prächtige Bauten an uns vorrüberfliegen.Read more

  • Day5

    Bye bye berlin hello moscow

    August 20, 2015 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

    4 dagen zijn voorbij gevlogen. Tempelhof ontbijtjes. Fietsen. Hipster berliners. Gutes pilsch. Branderburger. East side. Verdwaald tijdens tour op tempelhof. Gedwaald. Gezwierd. Lelijke gebouwen. Ouwe meuk. Technoverall. Geluk in cafe Engels. Nijntje checked 😝

You might also know this place by the following names:

Zamoskvorech’ye, Zamoskvorech'ye, Замоскворечье

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