“Don’t go to Moscow,” they said. “The people are mean and the city is dirty,” they said…
We’ve been in Moscow for four nights, and following suit with the rest of our Russian travels, we have thoroughly enjoyed it…so far. I find myself continuing to add this seemingly unnecessary “so far” so that when the mysterious and terrible Moscovian alter ego finally shows itself we won’t be caught completely unaware…Prior to our arrival in Moscow last week, we were warned against Moscow by travelers and locals alike. They said the people were mean, the city was dirty and crowded, and that generally it wasn’t a nice place to be.
We told ourselves that we were lucky since (the infinitely preferred) St. Petersburg was our last Russian stop, and we would end our Russian adventure on a high note despite the horrible time we were apparently destined to have in the capital city.Well, friends, we’re (not at all.) sorry to tell you that over the past few days, we have been busy loving Moscow. But let’s be honest, coming to the “Big City” from Siberia, it was probably bound to happen.
We were ready for the transition back into “society” from the countryside culture and we were anxious to explore our vast and newfound options – endless museums, international cuisines, history, city culture, new faces on Tinder – we couldn’t wait!Moscow has definitely kept up its end of the bargain, offering endless options for cultural exploration and entertainment; Tinder, we hate to say, could have done better. Why did Putin have to set the new shirtless standard?
On Saturday, Caitlin and I enjoyed a magical night out at one of the most iconic theaters in the world – the Bolshoi Theater.Having grown up as a dancer, our night brought back a flood of amazing memories from practices and recitals and watching the prima ballerinas with a mixture of awe and envy. The company was performing The Lady of the Camellias, and we found out that the evening before had been the opening night.
Our acquisition of tickets happened mid-Free Walking Tour earlier that day, and with a 6000 RUB price tag (a bit less than $100) and delivery included, we couldn’t resist!
The Bolshoi Theater was absolutely gorgeous and the duration of the evening we pretended that our backpacking clothes and tri-climate jackets were ball gowns and floor length fur coats. We fit right in…
Since our ballet outting, we have explored countless museums and exhibits (obviously including the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square), and meandered through many of the different parts of the city.
We were caught in a sudden snow storm where the world looked like a snow globe and have spent hours at local cafes taste testing traditional Russian dishes, focusing particularly on dumplings, cakes, and pastries. Someone’s gotta do it.
We explored the Red October arts district, have seen the beautiful metro (intentionally and unintentionally stopping at different points along the way…), and (I have) taken way too many pictures.
My favorite ones have been in front of St. Basil’s Church, the iconic church built by the infamous Ivan the Terrible to atone for the atrocious sins he committed (the more sins you have, the more elaborate your church has to be, according to the church).So let’s recap: Moscow has been great, and I’m officially dropping the “so far”. Spread the word. We’ll have more stories to come over the next few days!