Much to learn and see in Moscow . . .

Gisborne travellers Sue and Phil Newdick take us on a tour of Moscow.

Gisborne travellers Sue and Phil Newdick take us on a tour of Moscow.

The wooden palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich was reconstructed in 2010.
The Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge (Greater Stone Bridge) with the Kremlin in the background.

Gisborne travellers Sue and Phil Newdick take us on a tour of Moscow . . .

The time we had in Moscow was never going to be long enough — there is so much history to learn and places to see. Moscow, like the rest of Russia, seems to have embraced Western culture and capitalism.

Most of the Western world’s fast food chains seem to be well represented in the city, but as we had cooking facilities in our accommodation, we were able to shop at local food markets for local fare. We were not disappointed — the food was inexpensive, fresh and very tasty.

We took an excursion to The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh), a permanent general purpose trade show and amusement park. Opened in 1939 with daily attendances of 40,000, it has about 400 buildings and occupies 2,375,000sq m, an area greater than the Principality of Monaco.

The complex was a total package of gob-smacking surprises. A highlight was the Monument to the Conquerors of Space and a replica of the Vostok rocket that carried Yuri Gagarin, the world’s first spaceman, into orbit.

Our next challenge was to ride the Metro to Kolomenskoye, to visit the Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, a single ride of 11kms.

The wooden palace and grounds, originally built between 1667 and 1671 by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, was called the eighth wonder of the world. When the court moved to St Petersburg, the palace fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1768.

However, detailed plans were kept and the government carried out a full-scale reconstruction including the grounds in 2010. Entry is free like many of the attractions we visited in Russia.

The historic centre of Kolomenskoye Park is the Tsar’s courtyard. It is surrounded by a fence with two gates — the Front Gate, or the Palace Gate, the formal entrance to the royal manor; and the Back Gate. During the early Soviet period, old wooden buildings and various artifacts were transported to Kolomenskoye from different parts of the USSR for preservation. Currently Kolomenskoye Park hosts an impressive set of different constructions and historical objects.

Our next stop was the Kremlin which was not all about military and politics as we expected. The Kremlin is the term used to describe the central fortification in all Russian towns where the government — local, or in this case national — is housed.

This included all the significant churches and religious buildings which were intact and well-maintained even after such a prolonged period of communist influence.

There was serious destruction and alternative uses of some religious buildings, but there has been a lot of restoration since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the emergence of The Commonwealth of Independent States.

Leaving Moscow was not easy, but as our journey evolved, it just seemed to get better and better.

  • Next up: read about our exciting river cruise to Saint Petersburg.
  • <

Gisborne travellers Sue and Phil Newdick take us on a tour of Moscow . . .

The time we had in Moscow was never going to be long enough — there is so much history to learn and places to see. Moscow, like the rest of Russia, seems to have embraced Western culture and capitalism.

Most of the Western world’s fast food chains seem to be well represented in the city, but as we had cooking facilities in our accommodation, we were able to shop at local food markets for local fare. We were not disappointed — the food was inexpensive, fresh and very tasty.

We took an excursion to The Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh), a permanent general purpose trade show and amusement park. Opened in 1939 with daily attendances of 40,000, it has about 400 buildings and occupies 2,375,000sq m, an area greater than the Principality of Monaco.

The complex was a total package of gob-smacking surprises. A highlight was the Monument to the Conquerors of Space and a replica of the Vostok rocket that carried Yuri Gagarin, the world’s first spaceman, into orbit.

Our next challenge was to ride the Metro to Kolomenskoye, to visit the Palace of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, a single ride of 11kms.

The wooden palace and grounds, originally built between 1667 and 1671 by Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, was called the eighth wonder of the world. When the court moved to St Petersburg, the palace fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1768.

However, detailed plans were kept and the government carried out a full-scale reconstruction including the grounds in 2010. Entry is free like many of the attractions we visited in Russia.

The historic centre of Kolomenskoye Park is the Tsar’s courtyard. It is surrounded by a fence with two gates — the Front Gate, or the Palace Gate, the formal entrance to the royal manor; and the Back Gate. During the early Soviet period, old wooden buildings and various artifacts were transported to Kolomenskoye from different parts of the USSR for preservation. Currently Kolomenskoye Park hosts an impressive set of different constructions and historical objects.

Our next stop was the Kremlin which was not all about military and politics as we expected. The Kremlin is the term used to describe the central fortification in all Russian towns where the government — local, or in this case national — is housed.

This included all the significant churches and religious buildings which were intact and well-maintained even after such a prolonged period of communist influence.

There was serious destruction and alternative uses of some religious buildings, but there has been a lot of restoration since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the emergence of The Commonwealth of Independent States.

Leaving Moscow was not easy, but as our journey evolved, it just seemed to get better and better.

  • Next up: read about our exciting river cruise to Saint Petersburg.
  • <
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