by Anna Maria D’Andrea
Russia…Brr….Moscow…Brr….It would seem that for most of us the eastern European mega giant is often only associated with the fairy white season and nothing else. At best, maybe those colorful Russian dolls deemed by some enchanting and by most the trade mark of Russian folklore. This sums up most of our knowledge of Moscow. Well, prepare to assist to the opening acting of Moscow: The Metropolis. Embark in this adventure and you’ll be on the next flight out. Ready?
Why Moscow you may ask? Well why not? For a history crazed person, the heroic exploits of Catherine the Great and her more than Machiavellian ways and power might not be enough to tip the boat in Moscow’s favor. This city also courted the likes of one of Europe’s most fascinating dynasty, the Romanovs, and was graced with the presence of beloved Grand Duchess Anastasia. For a none history buff, maybe the fact that it is one of the Earth’s Megacities will do it. Truly there is always things to discover for anyone.
Where to start your trip? Moscow is worldly renowned for its diverse architectures and numerous parks, the pick might then look difficult. Why not turning towards the Kremlin? Although it has become synonymous to the home of the Russian president, Moscow Kremlin, there are in fact a few Kremlin all over Moscow. The Kremlin is a fortress that lounges around Moscow belting it all in. Your first dip in this sea of red should be here. This trip is the perfect package deal. When visiting this site you are also graced with a view on famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral, revolutionary Red Square and Alexander’s Garden. You are basically surrounded by Moscow’s most renowned architecture while you stroll in the midst of a fortress that can trace its roots as far back as 2BC! There is definitely a sultry scent in the air here.
Moscow is the perfect balance between a European historical city such as Rome or Paris with all the modernity of urban legends like Tokyo or New York. Much of its modernization is due to infamous Stalin. His plan was to make Moscow the center of the Eastern world and it was not to trail behind western mega cities. The third Rome’s “Seven Sisters”, a collection of sky scrapers found throughout Moscow are one of many of Stalin’s legacy. Wide roads and intricate city transportation is another.
Tourist need not to worry about public transportation. The subway system is amongst the most complete and deepest in the world. Impossible to get lost! And should this happen, the gender of the voice calling out each stop will help you find your way. A male voice for when you are approaching downtown and a female voice when you are traveling away from it. The reasoning behind it being that a male calls you to work and a wife calls you home…No comment on this one…
What is moreover is in the mist of all this architectural heaven is what would seem an Amazon forest. Moscow is covered in green. The back drop for world appreciated structures is a sea of vivid greens! It is reputed for being the greenest city in the world with Izmaylovsky Park being its largest. To give you a rough idea of the magnitude of this park, it is six times the size of Central Park in New York.
This is only a tiny fraction of what you can expect when visiting Moscow. The Russian ballets, tea rooms and overall friendliness of the Muscovites, make this trip a must on any tourist’s agenda. The downfall? Russian currency is the Rouble. Moscow is reputed for being one of the most expensive cities in the world! The average stay in a 3 star hotel is 700 Roubles, roughly 170 per night. There is also a great lack of hostels and B&B obliging tourists to seek more expensive accommodations.
Then again, when you are strolling in a city that is in fact the epitome of modern urbanisation, at the same title as New York or London, fabulosity does have a cost, and Moscow is well worth it!