Moscow & St Petersburg travel blog

Moscow's most iconic attraction, the Kremlin meaning fortress, headquarters of the Soviet Union. For centuries the Kremlin has been a symbol of the power of the State!

Everything about it is on a grand scale. A 2 ton cannon, the Tsar Cannon, sits within the walls ... too huge to be used! Also the biggest bell ever made, never used as it cracked badly and has a massive chunk out of it.

The 4 cathedrals within the walls have indescribably splendid interiors decorated with incredible icons and fabulous frescoes. Quite breathtaking and overwhelming.

The Armoury Chamber was built as a weapons and arms factory. Then workshops moved in where icons and embroidery were produced, alongside gold and silversmiths. It now houses Russian treasures ranging from religious icons to 10 of the 50 Faberge eggs that were made. Some of the bejewelled treasures are excessive in their value and after a while it is difficult to take it all in. The biggest collection of English silver is here, the only country to hold more than England!

After a much needed break and some lunch we brave St Basil's Cathedral just outside The Kremlin. An amazing complex of 9 small chapels beautifully decorated again.

Off somewhere more mundane? The Metro, used by 9 million Muscovites daily! Not on your life!! The oldest lines were built around 1937 and each station is like an individual art gallery. Mosaics, wall paintings, bronze statues, Lenin & Stalin ..... !!!!!!!! Words fail me! You need to see the photos.

We travel to Old Arbat, one of Moscow's most famous thoroughfares. Originally forming a key part of the trade route into Moscow, the street developed into a district for nobility and parliamentary members before becoming home to artists, musicians, writers and intellectuals. The pedestrianised Ulitsa Arbat is lined with antique shops, bookstalls, boutiques, cafes ..... & too many souvenir shops. A bit disappointing although the architecture is beautiful. Pushkin lived here for a while with his new wife Natalie and there is a statue of them opposite his house, now a museum.

Stuart tells us we have walked 9 Km today so we bravely manage the Metro back to base alone, discover a delicious Middle Eastern restaurant for dinner and join the cafe society for coffee and desert!

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