May 12th 2015, Moscow, Russia
Inevitably, when you think about Moscow, you think about vodka, thick clothes, fur, big warm military type hats, colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral and Matryoshkas, the Russian dolls. I had prepared a ski jacket with fur, gloves (two pairs) and sweaters, but I had forgotten that it is May and I am not going in a winter Siberian journey.
We landed in Moscow, Russia at the Domodedovo International Airport, which is located in a forest quite far from the city center. On the way to the hotel I try to take the pulse of the place and notice the specific features. First of all, everything is written in Cyrillic alphabet. This is the moment when I’m happy I went to Russian classes and I can easily read around, but I’m also upset I did not learn the language in a proper manner.
We passed over a river in whose clear water the Russian clouds are reflected, and then the flat building neighborhoods star aligning. There are dandelions on the green between the 20 floor communist blocks. I enthusiastically read the illuminated names of companies and stores and street ads in cyrillic and my Russian speaking colleagues help me where I stumble. I envy the Moldovan girls because they speak Russian, but they don’t think it’s a big deal. Not in Moldova, because everybody speaks Russian, but once you go out in the world it is a big deal, I say. They don’t agree.
On some buildings there are communist mosaics depicting astronauts or symbols of power. We are crossing another water and on the left side I see the University of Moscow, which has a replica in Bucharest, in the Northern part of the city.
We leave behind orthodox churches with golden or silver roofs in the specific curvy style, small clumps of trees and colorful buildings with sumptuous columns. Another bridge over the Moscow River and some new modern buildings with fancy beautiful girls in short skirts. This area is under construction, but there are many skyscrapers and it is imposing. It looks like an occidental neighborhood with modern, even futuristic, architecture, but it is strongly contrasting the abandoned plants which have grown trees at the top floors. Our hotel is nice and is close to downtown.
We arrived in the area of the Red Square and the whole city is still celebrating. There are stages everywhere and decorations and flowers. A day before it was May 9th, which is Victory Day and one of the most important celbration in Russia. Especially this year when it marks 70 years from the Great Patriotic War.
And here are the pictures from my Russian short and intensive affair.
Balshoi Theatre, where I tried to book a ticket, but everything was overbooked for months ahead.
I love this snapshot I took while heading to St. Basil’s Cathedral.
I walked km and km in the Russian specific wide squares and streets, saw St. Basil’s Cathedral and enjoyed little things in life, like ice cream on the bench, looking at the people, soaking the sun, speaking about my passion for Iran and telling my friends about the plot of the last Iranian author book I read.
Faimous Gum store
In the store there were symbols of war in order to celebrate the 70 year anniversary from the Great Patriotic war.
For dinner we chose Korchma, a Russian and Ukrainian traditional chain which has restaurants in Russia and New York City. It is close to the Red Square and the food is amazing, very much alike to the Romanian one.
The menu is available in 36 languages and the waiters don’t speak too much English. A girl with a traditional flower crown walks around every now and then. The waiters wear traditional costumes. I had a duck borsch with dried prunes and veal baked in egg. Delicious and very much like the Romanian food.
In front of the State Historical Museum.
Best view of the St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Spring in Moscow
Panoramic view of the St. Basil’s Cathedral and Kremlin with Lenin Mausoleum
I love this instant snapshot