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Showing posts from June, 2017

Izmaylovsky, Novodevichy

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Alas, today is my last day in Moscow, and so today's mission was to tie up loose ends.

The first order of business was to take a long metro ride up to Izmaylovsky Kremlin, a very strange but picturesque recreation of a traditional Russian fortress that I think was actually built in like 2007? (It's so kitschy I assumed it was from the 1960s). It's a recommended visit because of the markets leading up to and surrounding the kremlin itself.

When we approached the place from the Partizanskaya metro station it was like 7°C, dark clouds all over, with freezing winds, and there were like old abandoned structures to the side, few people outside -it all felt very post-apocalyptic! But once we reached the market, we discovered two or three long, parallel rows of wooden stalls with hundreds of different souvenir sellers. I'm pretty sure this market boasts the highest rate of matryoshkas-per-cubic-meter in the world, but there are also lots of other popular souvenirs, such as sha…

The Kremlin, all of it, then the Bolshoi

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Today was finally Kremlin day! Sooooo of course we woke up to 5°C and howling winds and cold rain. When I left the hotel it didn't look all that bad but I had to turn back for my umbrella and winter sweater. When I packed, mind you, the weather forecast announced 20°C and sun for Moscow. I never agreed to this!

The Kremlin is just one metro stop away from our hotel in lower Arbat but it took us several tries to find the right exit, because as you know by now you can't just take any exit and then find your way above ground, because roads don't have crossings ever. Eventually we made it to the Alexander Gardens, a beautiful park with trees and fountains that's right in front of the Kremlin walls, and where the ticket office is located.
The annoying thing about the Kremlin is that there's a separate ticket for each thing you want to visit, and each ticket is sold in its own ticket window for its own price with its own queue, so you can't just buy all the tickets y…

The Tretyakov Gallery, St Basil, GUM

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We'd learned that the Kremlin closes on Thursdays, so our plan today was to visit the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow's largest collection of prerevolutionary Russian art. It is the city's best known art museum along with the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which deals in European painters, especially Impressionists. When choosing which of the two to visit, we decided we'd overdosed on European art in St Petersburg and opted for the Russian side of art history.

Google Maps makes you think metro connections aren't very good because it thinks the differently named stations aren't connected even when they are, but in reality Tretyakovskaya is only one transfer away from Arbat (plan your itinerary looking at a map of the metro rather than by app!). We got out of the station and onto a cloudy morning with a chance of rain, just a few minutes after the gallery's opening time. There was a short queue to enter but once inside we had the entire first floor to ourselves -peop…