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  • Writer's pictureIshfaaq Peerally

A very special trip

It was not my first trip to Moscow and it was certainly not my last. But this one was special. Very special. Why? Because when I usually go on a trip, I'll go to the main attractions, get lost a little, find some lesser known attractions and that's it. However, since I've already visited most of the well-known and lesser-known attractions of the Russian capital, it was time for me to blend it, to live the Moscovite life for a few days and nights.

The trip started on Thursday morning. Usually a normal train trip from Voronezh to Moscow takes 12 hours while a bus trip takes about 10 hours but this time I tried something different. I booked an express train(double decker with only sitting places) which takes about 6 hours to go to Moscow. Thus, I reached the Kazansky railway station in the afternoon.

Double-decker train at the Kazansky railway station

I had dinner at the railway station, then took the metro to the city centre. The next step was to find my hotel, Matreshka hotel. With all these hotels and shops around it was not that easy to find even with Google maps. Eventually, I found it and checked in, went to my room and rested a little. It was already dark when I woke up and it was snowing. Nevertheless, I went to the Red Square, which was 10 minutes walking distance from the hotel. The Red Square was as always crowded and lively. I bought ice cream at the GUM department store (which is in my opinion the best ice cream ever) and then went back to the hotel passing through the Rolex and Bentley stores for motivational purposes.

Family tree of the former Russian royal family

The next day, I woke up late because it was cold and the hotel bed was very cozy but I didn't go to Moscow to sleep. I went to the Red Square again, more precisely to the State Historical Museum, The Armoury Chamber and The museum about the 1812 war with Napoleon. The State Historical museums was all about the history of Russia from prehistoric times until the Russian revolution of 1917. While the Armoury Chamber is one of the museums located inside the Kremlin and it featured weapons and treasures of the Russian Empire. The museum about the 1812 war is officially called The patriotic war of 1812. But it is more than that. It was more than I was expecting. It was not only about the Russian campaigns of Napoleon but about the Napoleonic wars in general. From Admiral Nelson to the Duke of Wellington, you could find everything.

The main event of this trip was the Bolshoi Theatre. It was the reason why I chose to go to Moscow and not to some new city. I bought one ticket about two months earlier(they were very hard to get) for La Bayadère, a ballet by French choreographer Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus. It was my not my first ballet but it was the first one that I was attending in the Bolshoi Theatre. Apart from the fact that the performance was perfect(there is no other word to describe what I saw), the atmosphere in the Bolshoi Theatre is unique in itself. From the beautiful chandelier to the dress code, I was like thrown into a victorian era party.

The Bolshoi Theatre

That was for Friday. On Saturday, I roamed around Moscow on foot and by metro. I went to see numerous monuments, visited shopping malls and the Moscow aquarium. I walked a total of 25 km in one day. On Sunday, I had some packing to do, visited the Red Square for one last time, and ate ice cream there for the third time and eventually had to go to the railway station for my train home.

Moscow through different times
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