The Arktika Train: Moscow to Murmansk

Today I want to present you the Artika train (Artic train), that takes you from Moscow to Murmansk, above the Artic Circle, and/or back. Murmansk is by far the largest city north of the Arctic Circle (with a population of around 300.000 people) and is a major port on the Arctic Ocean. It is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, an inlet of the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, close to Russia's borders with Norway.

Sixty: the highest restaurant in Europe

Sixty operates both as a restaurant and as a cafè. That is one of the greatest features of the place and a truly fantastic opportunity not to miss if you want to enjoy one of Moscow's most spectacular views on a budget! You can actually go to this establishment pretty much at any time during opening hours and, provided it is not already full, you can then just enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea, if you are feeling very Russian or very British) and no one will even raise an eyebrow because you are not raking up a substancial bill.

A heavy cloud lifts, again, from the Russian White House

the 26th anniversary of the end of the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, also known as the August Putsch. 1991 was the dawn of historical changes that would affect Russia and the whole geopolitical system of the world. Although the coup collapsed in only two days and Gorbachev returned to government, the event destabilised the Soviet Union and is widely considered to have contributed to both the demise of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

De-icing at Domodedovo

When temperatures plummet below zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) a very time consuming (but absolutely critical) operation that planes have to go through before departure is that of de-icing.

The entrance to Paveletskaya

Paveletskaya was built to a design by Alexey Dushkin as a temporary deep (33.5 meters underground) pylon station of London type - with two side platforms, but without a central hall. Work on converting Paveletskaya to a fully functional station commenced in 1950; the station was reopened February 21, 1953, only 12 days before Stalin's death. We can, therefore, say that this station is one of the very last examples of Soviet architecture built under Stalin.

Where Berlioz lost his head – The Bulgakov museum in Moscow

The Bulgakov House is situated on the ground floor of Bolshaya Sadovaya ulitsa no. 10 in Moscow, in the building where the Soviet writer used to live, and in which some major scenes of his masterpiece are set. In the novel, though, Bulgakov didn't situate the building at number 10, using instead the number 302-bis, to denounce the complexity of the Soviet administration in his time.

The house that moved and grew

Moscow's Tverskaya Street existed as early as the 12th century. Its importance for the medieval city was immense, as it connected Moscow with its superior, and later chief rival, Tver. At that time, the thoroughfare crossed the Neglinnaya River. The first stone bridge across the Neglinnaya was set up in 1595. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Tverskaya Street was renowned as the centre of Moscow's social life. The nobility considered it fashionable to settle in this district. Among the Palladian mansions dating from the reign of Catherine the Great are the residence of the mayor of Moscow (originally built in 1778–82 by architect Matvey Kazakov for the Governor-General of Moscow).

Crime and Punishment in the Moscow Metro

The Dostoyevskaya station on Moscow Metro line 10 has a very interesting story. The construction of the station started in the 1990s though soon it was halted due to insufficient funding. Building resumed only in 2007 when money flow resumed and right and left rail tunnels were built, but then in April 2009 the lack of funds forced the Moscow Metro authorities to delay the station's opening to May 2010 and then again to June 2010.

Shopping “to dive for” in Moscow

The Aviapark is the largest shopping mall in the whole of Europe and it is located, of course, in Moscow. The numbers are mind-boggling: 329 store (three-hundred and twenty nine!) under the same roof, with a huge supermarket and pretty much everything you might ever look for.

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