Sunday was another rainy and overcast one in Moscow. Since we skipped the bus tour on Friday in order to enjoy the dry and warm day, Sunday was the day to see more of Moscow than the historical center. Almost anywhere you go in Europe these days, and maybe even around the world, you’re bound to see the red double-decker-hop-on-hop-off tour busses driving around. For some reason these haven’t made it to Moscow yet. Fortunately there was one bus tour with good reviews on TripAdvisor with a company called Capital Tours.
On the way to the ticket office near Red Square, we noticed some kind of demonstration happening near the Karl Marx monument. There was a guy, mid-40’s, with a megaphone speaking passionately to anyone who would listen. I was able to make out words like Gorbachev and communism but the rest, in Russian, was beyond me. It was an interesting sight to catch these few people peacefully demonstrating in front of a small, mostly older audience and waving their red flag high in the air.
By the time we’d picked up our tickets and made it back to the site of the demonstration, the group had dismantled and it was like that moment never happened. The bus arrived a few minutes later and we were off in the coach. The company only has one bus so we weren’t able to hop off to take photos and walk around then hop back on. Fortunately the bus did stop at a few of the points of interest for a 10 minute photo break. The most interesting spots we hadn’t yet seen were Victory Park, Arbat Street, and Sparrow Hill.
Victory Park has many memorials and offers great views over the city. Sparrow Hill is a rich neighborhood and at the top of the hill is the main campus for Moscow State University and again provides a panoramic view over Moscow. The building is one of the Seven Sisters, high rises built in Moscow in communist times. The seven are spread across the city and are beautiful and unique architecturally. Arbat Street is the main tourist street in Moscow with shops and restaurants. This was the one spot we were able to get off the bus and walk around for a while, rejoining the next group on the bus 90 minutes later. The rest of the day was spent changing from our hotel in the center to the work-approved hotel a couple of miles away. The Savoy was a much nicer hotel, however this switch helped make the distinction between play time and work time.
I was extremely sad for the trip to come to an end as I’d had a great time exploring Moscow and getting familiar with my new camera. It would have been nice to have a bit more time to further explore Victory Park and areas outside the center, but maybe next time. If there is a next time. I didn’t really know what to expect from Moscow other than it feeling different than anywhere I’d been before. I was pleasantly surprised and will always remember this trip as a great experience. Now that it’s over and I’ve completed the third and final blog, where’s next?!