Overnight train ride to Moscow, Russia. Choo Choo!
What better way is there to celebrate finishing midterms than going to Russia for spring break!! Packing in itself was an adventure, as we fit 9 days of stuff into a single backpack (mind you the backpack was huge, nearly tipping us over when standing). We bundled up in our winter coats, scarves, hats, and gloves, grabbed our backpacking backpacks, and stepped out of the train into a winter wonderland!
Tour guide informing the Study abroad group about Kremlin.
We first visited Red Square, Moscow’s main site of tall shopping centers, business buildings, and cathedrals! We had a three hour walking tour inside the walls of the Kremlin. The Kremlin is the political center of Russia, with manly buildings inside including the “White House” of Russia (where Lenin and Stalin sat, and currently Putin sits), 10 churches, and a museum. The churches were so intricate and beautiful, just like all the buildings we saw in Russia, but even more so. The tops of the churches were bright reflective gold, and the walls as white as the falling snow. It was great to take a break from the cold and explore the museum, filled with royal crowns, carriages, silverware, and ball gowns (it was shocking how tiny the waists were, since the ladies took out a couple ribs to shrink their waist size)!
The circus where many amazing performance were made.
We then headed out for an actual Russian Circus!! There were many acts including juggling, dancing, stunts, and animals! The tricks were unbelievable, daring, and so incredible! We often shuffled in our seats when watching some of the routines, especially as a girl danced across a tightrope on ballet slippers, and even went down into the splits! There was one performance unrelated to stunts which was so captivating as a man sang a song in about a dozen different languages, including Spanish!
The metro station was filled with beautiful art.
Throughout the trip we constantly used the Metro to get around Moscow. We took a few hours within our Comrade Groups to explore the stations, as each one is absolutely gorgeous with artistically detailed architecture. It was so nice to take a break from rushing train to train and stop to admire the beauty within many stations.
St. Basil Cathedral always filled with color.
We bounced from several metros until taking one to Red Square to see St. Basil’s Cathedral. To us it was called “The Lolly Pop Church.” The Cathedral has many colorful round swirls at the top, which instantly made us fall in love with being fanatics of bright colorful candy looking things!
The Russian Market is the best place to get souvenirs at a reasonable price.
We then exchanged our extra money, and rehearsed our Russian in preparation for the Russian Market to get all the souvenirs we’d been waiting for. We spent about 3 hours out in the freezing weather bargaining for madruschka dolls, Christmas ornaments, and music boxes!
The famous madruschka dolls. So many of them, we almost bought them all.
Christ the Savior, the biggest Orthodox Church in Europe.
After the Market we went into an operating church, known as Christ the Savior, which is recorded as the biggest Orthodox Church in Europe! Out of tradition, all of us girls wrapped our heads in scarves and headed in to see people on there knees praying to God in full dedication, and beautiful worship music ringing throughout the enormous building.
Borsh, the traditional soup in Russia.
After a cold day it was glorious being warmed up by hot traditional soup, borsh! There could’ve been no better way to end the day than a sugar high with melted chocolates fondue including white chocolate, milk chocolate, and caramel along with marshmallows, strawberries, brownies, and cookies for dipping.
International Business Centre in Moscow.
For our last day in Moscow we split up to visit different places such as the Moscow International Business Centre, Grand Maket, and Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. After time taking pictures and exploring the last bit of Moscow we went off on a bullet train to St. Petersburg, where we would finish our spring break trip in Russia.
***Stay tuned for part 2 about St. Petersburg!***