On Wednesday (the 18th) we woke up to something that we hadn’t seen before whilst travelling, the sun. Although the skies were blue and not a cloud in sight, the wind factor alone caused the temperature to remain below freezing at -4.
This is the view from our hostel when waking up that day;
We trodded about 1km from our hostel and reached Krasny Oktyrba otherwise known as the Red October chocolate factory. It’s not actually a chocolate factory anymore, it’s the hub of Moscows hipster scene, the equivalent to Londons Shoreditch or Dalston where ‘cool’ clubs, art galleries, bars, vape shops and 24 hour parties take place. We had a mooch around but personally I can’t bare to be around people who try too hard to be an identify of someone who they’re not. So we moved on, not before buying some chocolate from one of the nearby choclatiers to commemorate the factory’s history!
We had been told by many people that we must visit Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure when visiting Moscow. Made famous from the Michael Apted 1983 movie ‘Gorky Park’ starring William Hurt. It is named ‘Gorky’ Park after Maxim Gorky, a Russian/Soviet political activist, writer and famous novelist. As we approached the park we walked through a reminiscent of St Peters Gate, into heaven, it seemed.
We wandered composedly around the circumference of the park in a good couple of hours. In true Russian fashion the park showed off its dynamism and aptitude with ;winter ice rinks, skate parks, a lake (completely frozen) for pedalows, performance areas, contemporary art galleries, fairgrounds, concert areas, cafes, food stands and more.
As the sun began to set we wanted to reach a vantage point to see a 360 degree view of the park. We went back to the gate and entered the museum of Gorky Park and climbed to the top (entry 150 rubles – £1.20). Before I upload a picture of the view from the vantage point, I must tell you about one of the exhibitions where you could use virtual reality to jump off of the top of a skyscraper Into the park, it was really weird and the first time I have used virtual reality, but promises exciting things to come!
So yesterday the weather went back to the usual grey, sleet and snow it has been. Reluctantly stepping out into the cold we headed towards the Kremlin again to check out the Armoury. The Armoury acts as the treasury or former treasury to Russia, similar to the tower of the London, the exhibit demonstrates the countries wealth and rich history in the form of unimaginable jewels, emeralds the size of golf balls, golden carriages and dresses laced with hundreds of symmetrical diamonds. The entry fee was 700 ruble (£6.20) which is a bit harsh, like Georgia pointed out if they sold one stone from the thousands of exhibits on show they would have enough money to pay maintenance and staff fees for years to come! But we paid it anyway and it was worth it to witness the delicate yet hard looking faberge eggs. There were about 8 of them each with their own theme given as gifts to former Russian Tsars and the like.
Leaving feeling very impressed we got the metro to Studencheskaya ‘the city’ of Moscow. After sinking a Long Island ice tea we watched the Kuklachyov Cat Circus. An epic performance of love, restrictions and crazy felines. The human performers were fantastic and the cats were just as good, they seemed really well looked after. The show lasted 1 and a half hours and cost £11 each, a great show to see if wanting to see a performance in Moscow on a budget.