(March 28, 2015) Moscow: Red Square
This day we must wake up early as our domestic
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.
The spots marked at map are:
0- Hotel Garden Ring
1- Red Square and Kremlin
2- Izmailovo market
3- Moscow State University
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 after 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we reach the cathedral we get into it and pay
350 rub for each of our admission tickets.
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.
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.
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.
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
interesting 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.