2 May 2017

touring the moscow metro and the kremlin
with moscow private tours

on our last monring in moscow, the five of us met up with an awesome guide for a tour of the moscow metro and of the kremlin. we booked our tour through  moscow private tours and had such a great experience. we were able to see so much in just a few hours (before ian, moses and i had to head to the airport to go home to london), and we learned a ton.

we set up the tour a couple weeks before our trip, and the folks at moscow private tours were so easy to work details out with via email, and catered the tour to our exact preferences. our tour guide, natalie, was not only really good at her job but also just a super cool person to get to know and spend time with. she answered our every question, got us so happily from place to place with tickets and information, and was super accomodating with all our wheels – not only did we have a stroller for moses but also a wheelchair for my dad (during the second half of our tour).

don’t worry! – my dad is totally fine! :) his back just really bugs him when he’s standing still or walking slowly for long periods of time, so on a tour like this it’s really nice for him to have a permanent place to sit down. i actually learned this fact about my dad for the first time on this trip in moscow, even though he’s had these back issues for about fifty years. i didn’t know about it before because he never complains and his endless optimism compels him to paint his back pain as a good thing that keeps him active (since it doesn’t bother him if he’s moving more quickly than a walk). what a guy. i love him.

if you’re going to moscow, we can’t recommend a tour with moscow private tours highly enough. our tour was the cherry on top of a truly amazing couple of days in moscow. being with a local who loves her city and knows so much of its history and beauty was just wonderful and made our trip really special.

here’s some photos from our awesome morning with natalie!

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going on a tour of the metro system in a big beautiful city might seem like an odd choice. but we learned before our trip that moscow’s metro stations are actually a super impressive museum of art and history! forty four of the stations are listed as world heritage sites and are ornately decorated and almost palatial. the moscow metro, constructed in the 1930s, was one of the ussr’s most extravagant architectural projects, meant to show off russia’s prominence and power as luxurious “palaces for the people.” stations are brightly lit with high ceilings and include marble and bronze statues, stained glass, and scenes of industry, agriculture, warfare and leadership in frescoes and mosaics. it’s all pretty amazing and fascinating and we loved seeing this wild underground world – especially at rush hour! the crowds made it all even more dynamic and cool to experience.
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when we came back above ground, we picked up the wheelchair for dad and headed straight for the walls of the kremlin! natalie filled us in on all the history of this amazing place (not only is it the current seat of russian government, but where the tsars were coronated and lived and reigned centuries ago). we went inside the armory museum (where we couldn’t take pictures) and saw incredible thrones, carriages, royal garb, jewels, and faberge eggs (my favourite part). it was so great to have natalie with us so we knew where all the highlights were and so we could get context on all the amazing things we were seeing! then we went inside each of the churches (where we also couldn’t take pictures) and learned a lot about eastern orthodoxy, russian royalty, and both ancient and modern customs. it was all so fascinating! and i love those gold onion tops. we ended our tour strolling casually by the largest bell and largest cannon in the world!
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we had to rush right to the airport after our tour, and we were seriously sad to leave moscow! natalie told us it’s one of the best cities in the world in the summer because everyone is so happy that it’s warm – and there’s all kinds of events and festivals, etc. so we felt comforted as we left by the thought of returning some summer in the future :) such a cool place. add moscow to your travel bucket list!! and when you go, take a tour with moscow private tours!

1 comment :

  1. Oh man, I LOVED that day! It made me hungry to study more of the massive history of the Soviet Republic! We highly recommend A Gentleman from Moscow if you want a bird's eye view of what happened during the revolution! What fun to have this stupendous memory of a great day in Moscow with Ian, Charity and that little brick of gold...Moses!

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