39 people found the following review helpful:
A unique city, September 13, 2010
Reviewer: Todd Todd
Everything is bigger in Moscow, everything
saw things this way
The city, which is located at junction of trade routes and rivers, is always going to be a mixture of the present and the past.The ships dock quite a ways out of town, but there is a subway station nearby if you are willing to brave the subway. It's the pickpockets, not the subway. The trip into town or out of town can easily take an hour or more. As another reviewer noted, the trip in from the airport can also be a killer.Once you are in the center of Moscow the names and sights are amazing. Suddenly there is the building on the front of the Stoli bottle, and St. Basil's church, and GUM, the huge department store. How many times have we see the towers of the Kremlin in news reports? Inside the Kremlin it is truly another world.You must take a tour inside the Kremlin. The Armory is the place to see for the clothes, thrones, carriages of the Czars. Don't plan on seeing dozens of Fabergé eggs. Most of them are no longer in Russia. The early communists sold them for cash. You need to pay for a separate admission to the diamond vault. But, the display cases of gold, silver and ivory are enough.The Kremlin churches are great, but can be really overcrowded. If you are even a little bit claustrophobic, take a miss on the churches and plan on seeing the frescoes in Kostroma, or elsewhere. The Czar canon is there and the churches are beautiful from the outside as well.For spectacle, how about the Peter the Great monument? What can compare to a night at the Bolshoi? The Russian Circus is pleasant, but sorta tame. Take a tour out to the monument to where they turned back Napoleon(those funny things coming in from the airport is where they turned back the Nazis).Be sure to see some of the spectacular subway stations. The Hippodrome entrance is a unexpected and monumental. All the huge apartment/condo buildings sprouting up everywhere are amazing. Or, how about a cruise on the Moscow river?Moscow is alive and jumping. It's too bad that it's difficult to communicate, and other than the subway, transportation can be problematic. There are wonderful restaurants and the shops in Moscow have the best of everything in Russia.And, I don't care what they say, Russian "champagne" is just not worth it at any price.
(Review ID: 165)
12 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful city learning how to handle life in the 21st century - cars, tourists!, August 14, 2010
Seeing the beautiful Russian Art in the Trethakov Museum
The four-hour trip from the airport to the ship due to traffic.
saw things this way
Moscow is worth a visit. Guides speak English, buses are safe and new and the sites are incredible. The GUM department store near Red Square is a good place for clean and free restrooms. There is also a bank to change money but using the ATM might not be reliable.The subways are easy to figure out once you master the cyrillic alphabet as not all maps are in Roman letters .The lines at Lenin's mausoleum were so long we couldn't afford the wait. The Armory was closed so we missed the national jewels. The air quality was okay, but the fires burning outside the city were just beginning to get worse. People were quite apologetic about the heat and smoke, something they weren't prepared to deal with. It didn't bother us, but the Muscovites were quite uncomfortable. While we were there the highs broke two records. The best museum was the Tretyakov Museum filled with Russian art that is just now being revealed to the world. Our guide was very willing to answer all questions and tried to give us a glimpse into a typical Muscovite's life by describing the jobs, wages, homes and food situation. All in all, it was a wonderful way to start our Volga River cruise.