So there I was flying to Moscow, the last destination of the big trip! If I had heard little of St. Petersburg, I had even less of Moscow (if it weren’t for the World Cup final), so everything was even more mysterious. The blank sheet, which St. Petersburg had begun to write, was now in Moscow’s hands. Me, my two suitcases and my faithful luggage boy stayed at the Petrovka loft, a simple but very convenient for movement Airbnb, since you can reach the Red Square on foot from here.
But getting around Moscow was not so simple. If there is one thing I noticed is that Russians don’t like to keep it small and the streets are a prime example of this. Passing from one part of the road to another is such an exploit that you are forced to use underpasses that seem never to end many times. It wasn’t a walk in the park for a heel lover like me, considering the size of Moscow, but despite this, me and my poor feet have succeeded in visiting all the must-see attractions: Red Square and Saint Basil’s Cathedral, symbols of an entire nation; the beautiful Gorky Park, Sadovniki Park and Izmaylovsky Park in which you can also find the namesake market (walking there was a pleasure); the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour; Arbat Street; the long waiting in lines for the access to Lenin’s Mausoleum and to the Kremlin. In short, a huge city with equal huge attractions, but I must admit made pleasant to visit thanks to the most beautiful Metro I have ever seen: just think of Komsomolskaya, Ploshchad Revolyutsii and Novoslobodskaya stations which were literally a sort of underground masterpieces.
You are probably wondering if I wore the same red dress as the one in Saint Petersburg: the answer is yes, I was so in love with those slits that I could not do without it. Look how my two dresses very perfectly match the city! Green, very much present inside the Red Square complex and red, which is never wrong. Hey Russian big boys, my visa for Russia is not yet expired! But… leaving aside me astonishing Russian masculine guys with my slits, what did Russia write on my blank sheet?
Positive aspects of course (see above), as well as negative ones, some aspects which I do not find acceptable according to what I believe in. An example is the visa’s cost of around 130 Euros to access the Russian territory, with the whole tracking of your movements and customs inspection. It was almost like being transported back to the Great War. I rather felt that I was in a country where there is still much to work with from a political point of view, light years away from the European countries. Russia, in my view, has nothing to do with Europe, besides trade agreements. This discourse is inevitably backfiring on the society: an elderly population leaving little room for young people (except for the military) which struggle to express themselves in a society where creativity is cut short by a specific line of thinking as you walk the streets. It is a totally militarized society.
However, apart from these things, I am well aware that Russia is an enormous country which is part of two continents and that there is still a lot of beauties to discover. But overall I found Saint Petersburg far more beautiful than Moscow, so much so that Saint Petersburg belongs to my top cities in the world. As for Russians, they may appear to be taciturn people, but they are actually nice and welcoming inside their houses: I had two of the most great Airbnb experiences in Russia.
Thus ended the trip that had brought me to the discovery of Helsinki in Finland, with its green trees, blue sea and islets; of Tallinn in Estonia, the small medieval city, big of heart; and of Saint Petersburg and Moscow, cities full of great beauties and among the most influential cities in the world. Thus ended the longest journey of my life, next to my babe, who has been standing by me every second. We came back home with our eyes full, our feet tired and our minds rich of new cultures and customs which not everyone are lucky enough to knowledge.