Moscow – travels in and around

One recommendation – wear good shoes you feel comfortable walking in. When travelling, there are a few ways to get around: bus, foot, underground/metro, taxi… The easiest and quickest (mostly) is taxi which is also the most expensive. Cheapest, of course, is walking but not all cities are foot friendly. Honestly, taking a baby in a stroller up and down the hills of San Francisco isn’t my cup of tea. But wandering around Moscow? Absolutely. (I would also point out that the safety record of driving in Moscow cabs isn’t the best either.) Especially if you are staying somewhere within the circle line of the metro walking most places is totally doable. What we would do most days was to head into the Kremlin/Red Square area with my husband, drop him off where he was meeting colleagues and then we’d pick a site take a look at it then wander home stopping in a cafe on our way back to have lunch.
Our first day in Moscow, my husband took the day off so the three of us explored Moscow. We used a DK Guide walking tour we found in the back of our guide book (we used the DK Moscow guide) and it was perfect. We saw Cathedral Christ of the Saviour, the Kremlin (lots to see just walking around and the churches/cathedrals inside are stunning), wandered through the Red Square (I never saw the pageantry happening there during the Cold War growing up, but my husband remembers it), saw Lenin’s tomb and St Basil’s Cathedral, window shopped in GUM and saw the former headquarters if the KGB. It was a great first day to see the city.
The day the three of us explored Moscow was perfect. Not only did I get to spend the day with my wonderful family, the iconic sights were breathtaking up close and personal, there were so many surprises to me with regards to the look of the city, the people, the food, and it seemed everything else. I honestly was expecting every building to look like cement blocks, the people to be gruff and the city in general to feel bleak and dank. And boy was I surprised! I’m sure visiting in September instead of January helped a bit…
On my own, I definitely walked more. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like asking for help so I don’t always like asking people to help me up and down stairs with the stroller (and despite the extremely helpful people on the metros…). So I opted to walk instead. The weather was on my side as it was easily high 60s and sunny the whole time. And walking I did – as I wrote earlier, Little Man and I would leave with my husband in the morning and take the train into the centre then we would wander back via a different route. I discovered loads of cafes to stop in that served light lunches – mostly some variation of a savoury crepe (pancake) with soft cheese and salmon or roasted vegetables or sandwiches and soup. Perfect for resting a bit, feeding Little Man and recharging my feet.
We didn’t get to many indoor sights apart from a new museum about the way of 1812 against the French and Napoleon, as it is the bicentennial of the war, and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. The 1812 Museum was fascinating. Nothing was explained in English but the artefacts of weapons and uniforms were beautiful. Very handicap accessible but they don’t allow strollers in the exhibit. Through sign language, they let us keep it by the security guards desk while we explored.
The Pushkin Museum was a whole other story with regards to accessibility. If you go, and it does have some lovely artwork, plan to go without the stroller. There are steps everywhere and no lifts. I should have brought just the sling and since I had the stroller I was limited to the ground floor, which had about 5 rooms I could go through. There were some great artwork and sculptures – lots of Dutch masters and classical figures. I then had a very unhappy baby due to teething so we ended up leaving, but I would have gone back without the stroller to see more of the museum if I had time.

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