a return to moscow

I’m finally back with another travel post! These are my absolute favourite posts, because they include travel + pretty pictures... what more could one want? Plus, travel post comes almost exactly one year after my first ever travel post (and post on this site, period), which recounted my weekend trip to Roanoke.

And, this travel post is special, because it features not one, but TWO countries.

Last week, Taylor and I travelled to Moscow for my Easter Break. We spent six short, but successful days roaming the city. On the way there, and coming back, we had long layovers in Zurich. As a result, we got to spend two half days in Switzerland as well!

The only other European country I’ve been to is Italy, so I was really excited to go to Switzerland. Even though I was only there a matter of hours, Zurich really made a mark on me and I would love to return sometime soon.

Taylor and I walked almost 10 miles while in Switzerland, winding through Zurich’s narrow, cobblestone streets. Some highlights of our time there included stopping for a tea break (v European!) at an outdoor cafe, visiting tall towers in old churches, and spending way too much money (Zurich is quite expensive!).

When we finally got to Russia, we weren’t too jet lagged, though it did take me time to get used to the dryness. I’d been to Moscow for a weekend before, but Taylor had never been. We searched Atlas Obscura for some interesting things to do, and the site didn’t disappoint!

I didn’t take as many photos on my DSLR here as in Switzerland, but I did get a lot of iPhone pics from our various adventures.

Some highlights include:

  • The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines, which is just what it sounds like. This is where I realized how bad at actual, real life pinball I am, despite being great at the Windows version.

  • Bunker 42, a recently-declassified underground bunker in the heart of the city. We had to walk down and up 20 (!!!) flights of stairs for this, but it was worth it.

  • MonBon, a macaron shop that makes literally the best macarons, ever.

  • Of course, the Kremlin and Red Square, because how can you go to Moscow and not see them? Although we did skip out on seeing Lenin, we had a great time exploring the Kremlin cathedrals and armory chambers. We also went to the State Historical Museum, which is huuuuuge.

  • The fact that the Moscow Metro has trains that come every 1.5 to 2 minutes, always, with a 99.96% on time success rate (and that the stations are also v beautiful). Also, like in Roanoke, Taylor got to see trains.

In addition to visiting these touristy and less-touristy sights, Taylor and I took a day trip to Suzdal and saw its small Kremlin, as well as took a carriage ride. Taylor also got to meet up with his former sixth grade teacher who now teaches in Moscow. We also had many yummy meals featuring a ton of Russian and Georgian food, and drank a truly tremendous amount of tea. One day, we had dinner at Ostankino Tower, the tallest tower in Europe, which yes, is taller than the Empire State building.

And I did get a few proper DSLR images while there, despite the ease of portrait mode:

All in all, it was a great trip, and I’m looking forward to returning to Russia again sometime soon. Hopefully, next time I’ll get to go back to Saint Petersburg, where I studied abroad during summer 2017. Moscow is also great, of course, but it can’t beat Saint Pete :)