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Category: Moscow Diaries

Moscow Diaries: A visit to the legendary Eliseevsky grocery store

Eliseevsky Store - Does this look like a grocery store?

Does this look like a grocery store?

Are you wondering what’s special in a grocery store that am writing a blog post about it? Eliseevsky store at 14, Tverskaya Street in Moscow is one of the oldest stores in the city. It was built as part of a historical building and opened to the public in 1901. It’s actually named “Gastronomia Eliseevsky“.

Can you imagine the work involved in constructing such a store more than 110 years ago?

Can you imagine the work involved in constructing such a store more than 110 years ago?

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Moscow Diaries: Christmas nights in Moscow

Christmas in Moscow

Christmas in Russia and about 15 other countries is celebrated every year on January 7th rather than December 25th. The Russians start their year with around 10 vacation days which begin with the New Year celebrations and culminate in the Christmas festivities.

Christmas in Moscow

The primary reason for this is the fact that the Russian orthodox church follows the Julian calendar which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.

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Moscow Diaries: An evening at the Red Square

Red Square is considered as one of the most important landmarks in Moscow as it includes a varied set of monuments including Kremlin (the official residence of the Russian president), St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Kazan Cathedral, Gum Store and the State Historical Museum among others.

It is said that Putin generally works in Kremlin but stays on the outskirts of Moscow. Legend has it that Lenin’s body is still embalmed and kept at the mausoleum. Whether tourists or even Russians believe this or not is another matter altogether.

One evening, when a few of my office colleagues asked me if I am interested to make a visit to the square, I was quite excited at the opportunity. Little did I know that it would be about -15 degrees that night. It was so cold that I was starting to feel my hands getting frost bitten. The Starbucks coffee I was holding became cold in no time ;). Nonetheless, the experience was fantastic.

St. Basil's Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral (the garlic shaped domes of different colours look amazing, don’t they?)

Kremlin

Kremlin

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Moscow Diaries: A walk at the Gorky park

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure (Центральный парк культуры и отдыха имени Горького) is one of Moscow’s Central parks located next to the Moskva river and spans an area of about 300 acres. It’s the perfect place to see the way Russians spend their free time. The park gets its name from the famous Soviet writer, Maxim Gorky.

While at an earlier point of time, the park had various rides including roller-coasters, today it is more of an eco-friendly park which also has an ice-skating rink and wi-fi.

I had come to the park with the intention of taking the Radisson Cruise on the tranquil waters of the Moskva river. Since I missed it by a few minutes, I decided to take a walk along the river itself. And mind you, while it does look sunny, the temperatures were still hovering around -5 degrees.

Moskva River

Moskva River

With all the snow round, Gorky Park looked really beautiful.

Gorky Park

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Moscow Diaries: A trip to the Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro (Московский метрополитен) is the 6th largest metro system in the world and also one of the most busiest. It has 198 stations and has a route length of about 330 km making it one of the most ambitious projects in Russia. Along with having some of the deepest stations in the world like Park Pobedy at 243 feet and many lines and stations under construction, the Moscow Metro is a constantly evolving architectural marvel.

And to add to that, it is also a tourist attraction as can be seen from some of the metro stations I visited. They have such lovely architecture that you feel you are entering a museum. Many of these stations have been built in the 1950s. Can you even imagine the expenditure incurred to make them during those times?

Our first stop is the Arbatskaya (Арба́тская) station on the dark blue line.

Arbatskaya Station (Dark Blue Line)

Arbatskaya station

The Ploshchad Revolyutsii (Пло́щадь Револю́ции) station on the dark blue line is full of bronze statues of men, women, soldiers, farmers, atheletes, school children etc. It is named after the Revolution Square in Tverskoy District.

Ploshchad Revolyutsii

Ploshchad Revolyutsii

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Moscow Diaries: Ice-cream at -10 degrees

Want some ice-cream?

Want some ice-cream?

Source: http://www.guernseycresticecream.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/snow-2013-02-16-0172.jpg

Are you a winter kid who would love to go out for a walk when it’s bone-chilling cold?

It was around -10 degrees in the evening when I was out for one of the City Tours in Moscow. While I had quite a few reservations about handling the cold before I landed in the city, I adapted myself quickly enough with more than enough layers of clothing. While on the tour, all of us decided to head to an ice-cream parlour.

Ice-cream in the middle of winter? You gotta be kidding me. But I must say that this is an experience all ice-cream lovers would truly appreciate ;). That feeling of taking each bite of the ice-cream without worrying about it melting away is priceless.

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Moscow diaries: The walk to the office..

Moscow has one of the oldest and longest tram networks in the world

Moscow has one of the oldest and longest tram networks in the world

As someone had rightly said, the best way to experience any city is by walking through the streets and taking in the sights and sounds all around. While on the first morning, I had asked my colleague to pick me up from the hotel, I decided that from the evening onwards, I would make the 20 minute journey on foot between Правды ул (Pravdy Street) and Лесная ул (Lesnaya street) where my hotel was located.

The barren trees enroute

The barren trees en-route

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Moscow Diaries: The beginning..

View from my hotel room..

View from my hotel room..

привет из Москвы

During school, we have all studied about the Tundra region characterized with shrubs, mosses, pine trees along with dark and gloomy winters full of snow. I had always seen snowfall in movies but as I stepped out of the Domodedovo Airport at the outskirts of Moscow in late November, I immediately got my first experience of how snowfall felt.

Continue Reading Moscow Diaries: The beginning..

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