Two weeks between Moscow posts. I’m slacking! Actually, I’ve been a bit busy and spending time on 1,000+ photos is a daunting task. I actually regretted posting the ones in my previous Moscow entry as early as I did. Since then I’ve spent hours and hours and…you get the point…in Aperture working with the photos trying to get them back to their correct coloring or to make them fun and artsy. Well, as artsy as I get anyway. Now that I’ve shared my excuses, we can get down to business. Moscow Day 2: Going Underground.
As you may recall from the story and photos of the first day, we had sunshine and beautiful blue skies. I woke up Saturday hoping we’d get lucky again, but that was not the case. It was cloudy and rainy without any sign of letting up. Without much of a plan we headed back to Red Square thinking we could go in Lenin’s mausoleum, however with the pouring rain and hundreds of people in line that didn’t seem like such a great idea. After finding shelter and flipping through the tour book, we decided to head underground.
No, not into the James Bond-esque spy tunnels, but down to the metro. When you visit a city like New York or London for the first time you have to check out the subway/underground system just because it’s such a part of the city. In Moscow the metro system is special for a different reason. The underground network was opened in the 30’s under Soviet rule. Probably as a display of how well off Moscow was and how great of a government Muscovites had, they constructed the most beautiful metro stations you’ve ever seen. When you enter at ground level it’s really nothing special, but head down the extra-long escalators and once you’re well underground you’re amazed at the grandeur. Chandeliers, mosaics, plaster flourishes, bronze statues all in a subway station. It’s really unbelievable and beautiful. We made our way to three of the best known stations stopping to take lots of pictures at each one. There weren’t many tourists on the metro and the biggest challenge we faced was matching the Cyrillic characters on the tour book map to the ones on the signs. Quite an entertaining adventure really.
After a couple of hours we resurfaced near our hotel for a quick break then hit the streets again to Red Square for lunch. Over Russian food and beer we decided to make the Kremlin our next stop as the rain had subsided. These days several government buildings and a few cathedrals remain inside the Kremlin, but long ago the entire city lived within the walls. I continued to be in awe of the insides and outsides of the cathedrals. Inside every surface is painted or decorated. Even on an overcast day the gold domes of the cathedrals glow.
Day two ended with dinner on the 21st floor of the Lotte hotel at Kalina Bar. Kalina is a modern restaurant with a cool ambiance and a 360 degree view over Moscow. Being so high up you are treated to an amazing panorama of the city as you dine. It’s a wonderful experience engaging all of the senses including the taste buds. Delicious food and drinks. Not cheap, but highly recommended. And don’t forget your camera as you can get some great shots from the balcony.
That’s about it for day two. Enjoy the following photos and I will do my best to wrap up with day three before another couple of weeks fly by.