Summer Travels: Russia Part 2 / by Gleb Lapham

Saying goodbye to my cousin (middle) and her little baby.

Hello everyone! It time for part 2 of my blog about my summer visit to Russia. Last week I wrote about my hometown in Russia and some of the places in and near it. Be sure to check it out!

After spending close to a month and a half in Russia it was time for me to head back to the States. But, there was one more place that I always make a stop at, and that is Moscow. Luckily its on the way, that's where my flight was flying out from. After saying my goodbyes to family and friends in Cheboksary I got on a train to Moscow with my mom, who was seeing me off at the airport. After an overnight train ride we arrived in Moscow, we checked our baggage (mainly mine) into a secure storage and went ahead and went out into the city. 

Moscow is an awesome city, there's a lot to see and a lot to do. Its a city to which I have been to many times and every time there's something new to see and discover.  We spent only two days there, but it did give us time to check out some cool stuff. 

On the first day we decided to go walk around the Red Square area and gram some food at the Stolovoya 57 inside the GUM, the oldest mall in Moscow. Stolovoya 57 is an old Soviet style ale-carte cafe where you order the items that are there that day. Its really good and reasonable priced and got a pretty cool vibe to it. Just be sure to know what you want in advance so you don't hold up the line when its time for you to order your food. 

 

 
My mom really loves to shop!

 

 

After we ate our food, we spent sometime walking around the mall and then headed out into the Red Square. Even though its a place I've seen may time I never get tired of it, its full of rich architecture and history.

 

 

The most famous place in Moscow (and probably Russia), The Red Square. The church on the left is St. Basils Cathedral and the tower and the wall on the right is the Kremlin.

But there's one place that has even more of that! That place is the Kremlin, the area behind the big red walls that are seen from the Red Square. If you're in Moscow this is a place you would want to check out, especially if you like history!

A little fun fact: You may hear about the Kremlin a lot on the news being referred to as the seat of the Russian government. While that is true in Moscow's case, a lot of Russian cities have their own kremlins. Kremlin is just another Russian word for castle.

 

 

After the visit inside the Kremlin we went ahead and headed back to the train station to grab our luggage, then we took a taxi to my cousins apartment, he lives in one of Moscow's many burrows. That concluded our first day. 

 

We started off the second day with a visit to the Moscow zoo. That zoo was HUGE! There were a lot of animals and we spent a good part of the day there. For me the coolest thing I saw were not the animals however. From the zoo you could see an old, Soviet style apartment building. It was the tallest building in the area and it dwarfed everything around it and you could see it from even part of the zoo. 

The old, big, tall, and Soviet building that's seen from the Moscow Zoo. Buildings like these were build during Joseph Stalin's rule. Most of them used to house Soviet elites, now they are prime real estate and luxurious hotels.

After spending time at the zoo, we took the metro downtown, towards the Red Square. Here's a little travel tip, if you are ever in Moscow bestsellers sure to take the metro. Not only is it the fastest way to get around, you'll witness some of the best looking subway stations in the world. 

Mosovites waiting for the metro train at the Tyatralnaya Metro Station.

After a short train ride we arrived pretty close to the Red Square, close enough to where we could walk the rest of the way down. We decided to walk on the Myasnitskaya Street. It's a small but long street with shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars, basically it had that sweet city vibe that I always liked when visiting big cities. 

Friends and family.

While walking down the street, my mom decided to find a place to eat. It was at that moment, we were crossing a street and someone ran up behind us and got our attention. Well it turned out to be one of my childhood friends Nika, she lives in Moscow and she was out grabbing some dinner with her mom. They happen to have noticed me and my mom walking around outside the pizza place. Talk about a small world huh?! 

So we sat down with Nika and her mom, ate some food, and hung out with them for the rest of the evening. Our little group continued on down the street. We walked, we talked, and took time to catch up, its never a bad thing to run into some friends, especially while traveling. When we got to the Red Square the sun was setting and it was a very calm and warm summer night and the square had a soft evening glow to it from the different lights. 

Our little group stopped and took in the sights. Then we headed off to the metro and hopped on a subway train. My friend and her mom got off on a stop that came before ours, so we set our goodbyes and continued on back to my cousins apartment. 

Heading back to the States. Can't say I didn't enjoy the view while flying over Greenland.

The next morning it was time for me to leave, I had a great time during my visit to Russia. I love seeing my family and I always miss them when I'm at home. I also love the Russia itself, there are many interesting people to meet, beautiful places to see, and good food to eat. I'll be looking forward to my next visit. 

Thank you for reading part 2 of my Summer Travels. If you have any questions, thoughts, or stories to share be sure to do so in the comments. Also, be sure to keep an eye out for my next blog. Until next time, peace out!