Day 10 (March 28, 2015)   Moscow: Red Square


   This day we must wake up early as our domestic flight to Moscow is at 9:20 AM, so we should be in the capital city by 10:50 AM.

   Once everything ready at hotel, we’ll spend the rest of the day to visit the highlights of the city. As the Kremlin is for tomorrow, we’ll see Red Square and go to the more remote places from there by metro, which is a highlight itself.

Moscow map

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Hotel Garden Ring
 1- Red Square and Kremlin
 2- Izmailovo market
 3- Moscow State University
 4- VDNKh


  We’re up early following the indications from our hotel to get our flight to Moscow at 9:20 AM. This way we reach Vnukovo airport in Russian capital with no issues. Here we try to do like in other places to go to the city: following local people. But, although we’re taken to the typical line in the taxi area outside, we’re called by the man in charge of the taxi assignation. I have the feel that it is not good when we’re treated different making us avoid the line and that becomes true when we’re asked for 4000 rub just afterOur room at Garden Ring Hotel leaving the bags in the trunk. I firmly deny and take our bags back saying we’re going to take the train. I’m thinking I might be too determined as there is no other offer from him while leaving as I expected.

   Somehow a man comes and offers to take us to our hotel by 3000 rub, I deny and, just before getting indoors, I agree his last offer of 2500 rub. We’re doing what is supposed we shouldn’t do here: getting into a stranger’s car. I’m following our way through this horrible traffic in my GPS just in case I could detect if he is not taking us to the hotel. No problems, though. We’re delivered at our hotel about one hour after leaving the airport.

   Garden Ring Hotel is nice. The door is not in Prospekt Mira itself, but in a small open area between buildings. We leave the hotel just after a few minutes to walk the two blocks until Sukharevskaya metro station, which we use to go to Okhotny ryad station. When we use the machines to pay 50 rub for each ticket we get a blue card which allows access just by putting it close to the reader that controls the turnstile.

Bolshoi TheaterKarl Marx Monument

   Out in the street again we’re by the popular Bolshoi Theater and, in front of it, we can see the monument to Karl Marx across the street. We look for the underground pass to go there as this is the way to go to Red Square.

Theater Square

   When we’re in the Voskresensky gates it’s 12:30 PM. As the time for Lenin’s mausoleum is 10 AM to 1 PM we’re expecting to be able to visit it now.

Voskresensky gatesVoskresensky gates detail

   We get into the square, which appears crowded, and look at all we have around: Kazan Cathedral, State Historical Museum, the Kremlin wall and the beautiful Saint Basil’s Cathedral, at the other side of this big cobbled space. The only bad news here are in Spasskaya Tower, the most beautiful in the Kremlin wall, but entirely covered now for works. What I thought it would be a big part in our pictures here we’re trying to avoid it for all of them.

Red Square
Voskresensky gatesKazan Cathedral

   We go to our right, to the Kremlin, where the mausoleum, shaped as a small stepped pyramid, is. We don’t see any line or access so I ask to one of the guards about the visit using gestures as she is after the restricted area. She manages to answer me that visits are not available until April. One more handicap for this low season.

Lenin's mausoleumView of Red Sqaure in Moscow

   We walk to Saint Basil’s Cathedral slowly, enjoying the views in this square and spending the time to get the pictures with as less people as we can.

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Red Square
Saint Basil's CathedralSaint Basil's Cathedral

   When we reach the cathedral we get into it and pay 350 rub for each of our admission tickets.

Red Square view from Saint Basil's CathedralInside one of the Saint Basil's Cathedral towers

   We couldn’t imagine how it is inside because it is not similar to any other cathedral, or temple, we’ve seen before. We follow the marked path through narrow pass ways and walls painted with flowers where rooms are appearing here and there as we go upstairs and downstairs. These rooms are full with icons and treasures.

Saint Basil's Cathedral interior

Saint Basil's Cathedral interior

Saint Basil's Cathedral interior

   Once back at the square, we leave it behind addressing our steps to Moskva River. When we reach the bride we just turn around to see how the cathedral looks from here and to come back to Red Square as it’s 2 PM and the popular GUM shopping mall is there, with its facade looking to the Kremlin. They both make the sides of this amazing square.

view of Saint Basil's Cathedral from the bridge

   We get in and look for a good place to eat. This place is composed by three long three-floored galleries. The place where we eat is in the third floor of the third gallery. The most of this mall is for exclusive boutiques.

GUM Department storeGUM interior

   We’ve chosen the only place with a line of people waiting and that uses to mean something by itself. It is a self-service place called Stolobar and we can put a lot of small portions of local food in our tray. We pay 1620 rub for the two trays. Between the long list of things I taste I must highlight the delicious cherry strudel.

   It’s 3 PM when we’re back at the square and leave it to take a walk to Kitay-Gorod metro station in order to pass by some interestingCathedral of the Epiphany points as the Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki, but the cold air coming from the river makes this an awful walk and we end by getting the metro as soon as possible.

   Our legs are asking for our room and we’re in the same metro line for the hotel, but we still change to red line and do the nine stops there until the one to see and get our pictures of the University building.

University building

   Now it is time to come back to the hotel and finally rest. We still go out by night to enjoy the special lights of Red Square but we spent more time in the metro this time as I want to visit the most of the stations of my list, which is a Moscow highlight by itself.

Prospekt Mira metro stationBelorusskaya metro station

   We get the metro by Prospekt Mira station and take the ring line to the red to reach our final destination, visiting these stations in our way: Belorusskaya, Kievskaya, Park kultury and Kropotkinskaya. We cannot visit Ploshchad Revolutsii as expected because it is closed for works.

Kievskaya metro stationKievskaya metro station

Park Kultury metro stationKropotkinskaya metro station

   Outside we can see the Theater Square in lights but when we reach Red Square it is in a deep darkness. I don’t understand. We get into GUM because it is the only place with light here and everything looks normal but when we go out to the square again we get again into the darkness I need to ask and I choose someone looking at the black as we’re doing and he answers that it is due to the Planet hour, which is happening just right now, and some iconic places in the world switch off all the lights during one hour. What a coincidence.

Theater Square by night

   The lights switch on indeed slowly, one building after the other until complete the fantastic show of watching this place by night, where the lights in GUM facade stand out.

Red Square by night
GUM Department storehouse by nightSaint Basil's Cathedral by night

   We go back to the hotel to sleep and buy a couple of a sort of pancakes stuffed with meat in a small place in the metro which we get by pointing what we want to the woman. They’re very cheap: 20 rub each. We visit Novokuznetyskaya station in our way.

Novokuznetyskaya metro stationNovokuznetyskaya metro station