Impressions of Moscow

When I exited the train station on the morning of my arrival I instantly knew that I liked this city. It is huge, but clean and not as chaotic as you would expect this big a city to be. From almost everywhere you can see at least one of the “Seven Sisters”, seven skyscrapers designed in the Stalinist style. Symbols of power that either loom over you or magestically rise into the sky in the distance. They house the Ministry of Foreign affairs, Moscow State University, hotels, offices or apartments. And everyone seems to love them, despite the time in which they were built. And they do really have something to them!


I enjoyed walking through the city, looking for a tourist information. At least for the first hour… Eventually I got tired and had to realize that there isn’t any (at least when I was there in September 2015)! That resulted in an uncertainty as to where to go to (I hadn’t had time for a lot of research in beforehand). Help was near though – I met with some local couchsurfers who showed me their city. Places like parks, back alleys, viewpoints and small beautiful churches I would not have found on my own. These meetings were probably the best about my stay in Moscow since I also learned a lot about daily life in Moscow, how (young) people spend their time here (everyone is busy and ambitious!) and how things are connected in general.

Going back onto the tourist path, i.e. visiting the Kremlin suddenly became a lot less enjoyable. But I guessed it was a must-see, so I went…

The Kremlin Wall

But being tourist was not easy anyways: The museums I went to were very bad at providing English translations, so it quickly became frustrating and there was not a lot to get out of the visits. Better to walk around and take the metro, another thing I loved about the city. It is a huge network with close to 200 stations. Impressive also how deep you have to get down – two minutes on the escalator are not unusual! And all of the stations are unique, many have an elaborate design.


Navigation was complicated though, at first, even though I could read cyrillic: Signage was sometimes confusing, the stations often (but not always) had different names for each line and the colors did not always quite match. But with the yandex-metroapp and a little experience I became better and when I left the city five days later I was almost an expert in getting around.


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