Moscow

Komsomolskaya underground metro station on the Koltsevaya Line

Komsomolskaya underground metro station on the Koltsevaya Line

Dates visited: August 4, 2012 – August 9, 2012

I visited Moscow primarily for the churches with those colorful bulbous domes. What I remember it for is (1) the most fashionably-dressed women I’ve ever seen, (2) really long escalators running deep underground to metro stations, and (3) getting stared at by several Muscovites on multiple occasions which I think that after eliminating all factors such as having a booger stuck to my nose, or having my fly open, or wearing a Pussy Riot t-shirt, I can safely attribute to me having a brown skin.

Of all our travels so far, Moscow seemed the most detached from the English language. Thankfully, they have good maps so we could find our way around, but finding someone who could understand English was quite a task. However, I just loved seeing the road names and street signs written in Cyrillic script; it gave me a feeling of having traveled really really far!

We spent 2-3 hours just traveling on the Moscow Metro as Moscow has some of the most beautifully decorated metro stations. Among the best ones are Teatral’naya, Komsomolskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Belorusskaya, Kropotkinskaya, Arbatskaya and Mayakovskaya. We also saw Nikulin’s Circus for a Russian circus experience and we came away impressed and entertained. I absolutely loved the architecture of the 1532-built white-colored Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye and wasn’t the least bit surprised to find out later that it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another interesting attraction was Lenin’s Mausoleum where they display the embalmed body of Lenin. You have to be absolutely silent as you enter the mausoleum with guards watching you at every corner. The guards thought I was taking too much time staring at Lenin’s body so they tried to catch my attention by snapping their fingers (remember, no talking!) and motioned me to move along!

We spent most of our time at Red Square and Kremlin which together have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the Red Square, my biggest excitement was seeing the Saint Basil’s Cathedral. The colored onion-shaped domes shone in the sun and my eyes sparkled with joy as I realized I was standing in one of the most famous squares in the world—a square that is used for military parades as well as high-profile concerts (Paul McCartney and Shakira have performed here). While the Kremlin has many popular attractions such as the Kremlin Armory museum, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and Tsar Cannon, my personal favorites were the stunning gold-domed Church of the Deposition of the Robe and the Cathedral of the Assumption.

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