A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: MikeinCairns

VDNKh Park

The highlight of Moscow

sunny 24 °C

Had breakfast in the hotel to live harp music !! Could stay here for ever !!

Today was for the much anticipated VDNKh Park. Once again we refer to Irena's blog as the ultimate source of information for our entire trip Russiau.

Hands down, this was our favorite thing in Moscow and probably all of Russia. It is hard to explain what VDNKh Park is. It is a monument to the glory days of the Soviet Union. It is a HUGE park full of attractions and is mostly free. Every ex-soviet country has a representitive pavillion and they are all over-the-top with beautiful architecture. Add to this the outrageous fountains, gardens and entrance arches. This park kept us entertained for the whole day.

VDNKh train station

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First stop the Cosmonauts museum

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Dunny from the Mir Space Station (The yellow bit looks intimidating)

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Belka and Strelka -The actual first dogs (stuffed) that made it back to Earth from a space mission (Laika was the first but never returned).

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The entrance to VDNKh

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Inside the park

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We had a late night train journey, so filled in some time at the Museum of Gulags ($6 each), which closed at 9pm (this typical for Russia in summer). The museum was average.

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After an exhausting day, we returned to the hotel to collect our bags thenn headed off to the railway station for the 8 hour journey to St Petersberg.

Truly back in the USSR and star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png star.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 14:50 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Moscow Parks

Free things to do in Moscow

sunny 22 °C
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Got the shits with our dodgy hotel so ask for a refund on our last night and moved to the amazing Soviestky Historic hotel situated 20 minutes out of the city ($120 per night inc breakfast). It has hosted a lot of dignatories including Maggie Thatcher, Pierre Cardin, Arnold Swazernegger, Gandi, Breshnev, Stalin and now.... us!! The rooms were in 1950s Soviet style and enormous. The bathroom was bigger than the entire room of our last hotel.

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There was a bell in the room to call the maid and the butler !!

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After spending a heap of money yesterday, we consulted the "free things to do" web sites and discovered Moscow has a lot of beautiful parks, so we chose Museum-Reserve Tsaritsyno, a park with a palace (of course), gardens and lakes.

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Felt like a king and a star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:20 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Moscow Kremlin

A lot of stuffing around and expensive

sunny 20 °C
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The afternoon was for the Kremlin and museums within. It was always going to be an expensive day. The ticket system is a shambles and online is no better. Virtually no information, different tickets need to be purchased from different locaions, long queues (sometimes to nowhere) and a lot of pissed off people (including Russians). We had done a reccy yesterday and read blogs about how to efficiently get tickets. For us it was quite organised.

Kremlin ($15 each) - Not a lot to see - about 1-2 hours. Basically churches and burial place of Tsars. Government buildings off course off limits.

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Those Russian's had big balls

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This is the massive bell that was dropped on delivery by ship

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Note the last guy. His job is to pick up the shit.

Armoury ($22 each) - very impressive collection of treasures (very little armour infact). Around 2 hours to see.

Diamond Fund ($11 each) - impressive collection of jewels similar to Tower of London. Around 1 hour to see. No photos allowed, but heres one from the internet.

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For anyone going -
Dont go early, you just stand in long queues. We arrived about 13:30.

Armoury Museum - Margaret got into the queue for the Armoury (the most popular museum). Not super obvious that these tickets are only sold from one of the 10 ticket booths. Yesterday the queue was out the building and more that an hour. At 1pm it was only 10 minutes. Tickets were not available on line and can only be purchased for a timed session in the day. 14:30 session. 700 Rub each

General tickets (so called Cathedral tickets) - At the same time Mike got the General entry tickets from a vending machine inside (that no body tells you about and has no queue). You just walk inside the ticket office, walk past all the queues and use the machine. 1000 Rub each

Diamond Fund - this is the trickiest ticket to obtain. Only small groups of 20 are allowed at restricted times during the day. There is usually an extremely long queue to buy tickets. We fluked tickets very easily. On the way out of the Armoury there is a place to but tickets with no queue. And we timed it perfectly for the 4pm session. 500 Rub each.

In summary - a lot of stress and stuffing around, but I guess it was worth it.

Dinner again at a Grabli (there are 10 branches).

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A thoroughly exhausting star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 5 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 15:19 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Moscow Metro

Best $1.20 you can spend in Moscow

sunny 20 °C
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Have split this big day into two blogs. AM: Amazing Moscow Metro and PM: Kremlin and museums

Had a problem with the room next door, so hotel moved us to new room. Then had breakfast in hotel (included in room rate) and it was ordinary. Unfortunetly, Matreshka turn out to be a bad choice of hotel. But it is a top location just one minte from a metro station, and five minutes walk to the Red Square.

This morning we did a Moscow Metro self-guided tour. This is the best (almost free) thing to do in Moscow. We spent all morning looking at stations for the cost of a single $1.20 ticket! Plenty of others have better pictures and blogs than us.

Blog 1
Blog 2

Here are a few of our shots (acually quite a lot because we loved it so much). The stations:

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The motifs:

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In the afternoon we headed to the Kremlin.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:19 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

Central Moscow

Beautiful...but...

overcast 19 °C
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Arrived Moscow around 9.30 and caught Metro to hotel ($1.20 each). We procrastinated a lot about where to stay in Moscow, but ended up in the very centre next to Red Square. Chose Hotel Matreshka ($80 per night) which ultimately was a bad choice. Crappy tiny room and in very bad state.

Went out sightseeing all day. Moscow is very beautiful, but extremely crowded. Margaret loved everything, Mike not so convinced. Red Square district was over run with tour groups, and the square itself was not even visible due to some concert that was being televised.

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One particular highlight was a church, the Cathedral of Christ. Not so much for the church itself, but the amazing history. Read more...The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour of Moscow: you will not believe its story

Our costs to date have been very low....Food is almost always around half Aust pirces for both fresh and restaurant food. Transport is extremely cheap at less than $1 for a ride on public transport. Hotels in the 3-4 star category have cost us $40-60 again around half Aust prices. Interestingly, many attractions to date have been free or just a few dollars. In Moscow everything is much more expensive and every single attraction costs a lot.

Discovered a great restaurant chain (Grabli), very popular and inexpensive buffet food (around $25 for two).

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First time we have vastly disagreed....so it's an average of star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png 4 star day.

Posted by MikeinCairns 13:19 Archived in Russia Comments (0)

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