My Russian Sojourn

1st Jun 2019

Enriching 1 month spent in the beautiful, unexplored country – Russia!

Photo of My Russian Sojourn 1/2 by Shikha Verma Lal

1 month is a fantastic time to experience how beautiful Russia is and how lovely its people are. I visited Moscow on an official capacity last year and totally fell in love with the country and its wonderful people. Moscow has very strong characteristics and speaks volume of the Russian pride.

I was lucky I found lovely local friends to show me around...nothing like seeing the city via the eyes of a local. I could feel the pride with which my Russian friends spoke about their history and its strong culture

Photo of My Russian Sojourn 2/2 by Shikha Verma Lal

I am so grateful that I got to experience the best of Russia. The weather was a perfect 15 degrees when I visited last June, the sun was setting at 9pm everyday…which gave me more time to walk and explore…an ideal scenario to actually be in!

6 Reasons that I loved Moscow (Russia’s capital city) –

1. Architecture – Russia has a very distinct architecture which opens a window to another world...Red Square for example is so historical and has such great significance in history.

Photo of Red Square, Red Square, Moscow, Russia by Shikha Verma Lal

Saint Basil's Cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have seen. This cathedral has colorful round shaped dome design and is considered to be blessed. This masterpiece is also known as the symbol of Russia and was created by 'Ivan the terrible.' The cathedral is prominently located at the Red Square - the heart of Russia. What I loved about the red square was its intriguing history; its long standing past and its strong importance in the Russian history.

Photo of St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia by Shikha Verma Lal
Photo of St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia by Shikha Verma Lal

Right at the Square there is also one of the oldest and most remarkable shopping centers in Moscow – the GUM. Overall the entire Red Square has an amazing magical aura and is worth an experience!

Photo of Kremlin, Moscow, Russia by Shikha Verma Lal

Kremlin with its Red walls adjacent to the cathedral looks absolutely stunning; it is the symbol of Russian government and one of the best architectural marvel to look at. Kremlin and Red Square are the UNESCO Heritage sites.

Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal

Bolshoi Theatre is walking distance from the Kremlin and is situated at Tverskaya street at the Theater Square. Bolshoi is famous for magnificent Russian operas and ballets. I remember sitting at the square with a dear friend and soaking in the buzz and the spirit of the place and people surrounding it.

Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour - This is a orthodox church having a beautiful dome like look. Just opposite the church are the walls of the Kremlin and the river Moskva flowing.

2. Safety – After returning from work every day I would go out for a stroll around 19:00 hrs in the evening; explore various alleys and never felt unsafe even once. Added advantage was that I was living in a prime area which was about 10 minutes from the city center.

Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal
Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal

I also loved walking around the beautiful Moskva River every other evening which was 5 minutes away from the apartment. Moskva Moskva River and Moscow are two different renderings of the same Russian word Москва. It is said that the city is named after the river

3. Food – Variety of cuisines are available; 2 restaurants that I totally enjoyed visiting were – A Georgian place with artistic interiors and great food, second a Russian home which was turned into a restaurant…very homely experience.

Kind hospitality shown by a local friend at a Russian boutique restaurant in picture:

Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal

4. People – Friendly; once you break the ice and become friends with them… they are wonderful to be with. I had the chance to meet some lovely people who have now with time become very good friends. i shall always remember their kind hospitality when i was all alone in their quaint country.

Following picture is at The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Pushkin Arts Museum in Moscow which I visited with a dear friend.

Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal

5. Shopping – Russia has all the European brands housed in their malls. I visited a few malls and was pleasantly happy to see a different collection at Zara’s and Marks & Spencer which was suited to the climate of the country.

Photo of My Russian Sojourn by Shikha Verma Lal

6. Gorky Park –

This 109-hectare park has a beautiful landscape and is surrounded by nature. This place is perfect for a peaceful walk, a jog, cycling and to spend time alone or with friends in leisure.

Few Facts:

Moscow has much to offer in beauty, food and places to visit. Its a perfect holiday for a week in the month of June. While spending time in Moscow I watched a program on Russia’s history, featured on Netflix called the “Last Czars of Russia” a very interesting documentary… which I highly recommend to watch.

The currency of Russia is Ruble. 1 INR = 1.05 Russian Ruble

The metro stations are well connected but mostly in Russian language

People at work/offices/ corporate/media speak English but local people at grocery stores , souvenir shops and at restaurants mostly don't speak or speak very little English language.

It is safe and easy to explore

Weather in June is excellent varying between 12 to 20 degrees. Its the Russian Summer

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