Moscow: The impressive capital of Russia
Huge, impressive, spacious – spacious in the sense of having wide distances. Francis tells me that she walked a lot in Moscow. And still, she has by far not been able to explore every corner of this huge, clean city. Nor did she spot any straying animals or homeless people.
However, the city is not only impressive because of its size and its tidiness, but also because of the fantastic underground. That is the first thing, Francis tells me about, when she starts talking about Moscow: The Underground. After a never-ending journey leading the people deeper and deeper under the earth, a space full of incredibly beautiful and impressive art pieces opens up. “There is probably no better underground anywhere in the world.” Francis is clearly impressed.
The tour continues with the department store “GUM”, which is not only artistically or architecturally impressive, but also historically. The over 100-year old department store, built between 1890 and 1893, is located in the heart of the city, just opposite the Kremlin and the Lenin Mausoleum. It has been, and it still is a flagship warehouse. Even during the Soviet Union, where consumer goods were rare goods, the GUM was equipped with a secret department, which was only accessible for some privileged people. Despite the regime, all sorts of western clothes and goods could be found there. As not all (conservative) statesmen were happy about the “GUM”, closure and demolition plans were discussed in the 1970s. A modern legend says that the existence of the department store is due to a woman who supported the cum: the wife of the head of the state. Even today, the department store has an excellent reputation: Gucci, Prada, Chanel – whoever has rank and name is represented here. If you want to shop here, either you bring a lot of money or you do better not shop at all. This generally seems to be a good motto for the impressive city: “Either do it right, or don’t do it at all.”
As already mentioned, the department store “GUM” is centered directly at the red square. Many museums and restaurants can be found here. And the food here in the capital is truly recommended: meat and salad, the food seems healthy and varied. On top, there are good cafes. To all of you who care about the food when traveling: It is a dream from the culinary side of view. And, by the way: At night, the red square looks even more impressive with all the illuminated buildings.
But Francis exploration tour does not stop here: Through the beautiful Alexander Garden, where tulips are blooming everywhere, we continue to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This, too, joins the impressive monuments of the city. “Fantastic”, Francis is enthusiastic, “I have rarely seen such a beautiful cathedral.” Inside the cathedral, the most beautiful drawings and angel statues are presented. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.
Finally, there is a boat trip on the river of Moscow, the “Moskva”, and the weekend is already over. “In a weekend you will never finish to be able to explore the whole city”, Francis exclaims. She is able to see the Bolshoi Theater from the outside, but the visit of the theater will be postponed to the next trip to Moscow.