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.

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.

Low flying Tupolev in Smolensk

The monument is actually not a replica, but a real retired Tu-16 from the the 46 VA VGK (SN) heavy bomber unit that was based in Smolensk. If you are a bit of an airplane fanatic (like me) and you visit Smolensk, then you just have to go and see the Tupolev Tu-16 monument just a few hundred meters (about a quarter mile) due West from the center of town, at the southern "vertex" of a small triangular shaped park.

Pizza with figs in Murmansk – Gordon Ramsay approves!

Pizza with figs in Murmansk - Gordon Ramsay approves. As mentioned in the title, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay explicitly approves figs on a pizza, as this tweet from last October clearly demonstrates. I doubt, on the other hand, that he would approve the underlying pizza, with semi-melted mozzarella(?) shreds and some sad, sad looking salad leaves in the middle!

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.

Pygmalion’s point of view

Pictured above is Pygmalion's point of view when admiring his beloved statue/wife in the interpretation of Italian sculptor Pietro Ceccardo Staggi (1754-1814) in his Pygmalion and Galatea (1790-1792). The attribution of the statue to Staggi comes directly from the Hermitage museum, where it is on permanent display in the European Fine Art Collection, alongside statues of Antonio Canova.

Sad news, a sad realization, and an important lesson

Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture above (picture from Russian Wikipedia, slightly edited), late on Monday, August 7, 2017, the building collapsed. After the first signs of the beginning of the collapse, the local police fenced the perimeter and therefore there has been no injury as a result of the collapse. At 23:45 the roof of the lower section and the southern wall of the semicircular section both collapsed.

The Mosque of Kazan

The Qolşärif Mosque in the city of Kazan is one of the most impressive mosques in Russia and arguably in the whole world and it is the main mosque in the Republic of Tatarstan. Situated inside the Kazan Kremlin, it was built between 1996 and 2005 in honour of the old  mosque of the Khanate of Kazan, which was destroyed in October 1552 during the siege of Kazan by the Russian Tzar Ivan the Terrible.

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