Tag Archives: transportation

Moscow with H&K: The Metro

17 Feb

So. Many. Photos.   While this is definitely a good thing, it also means that it is going to take some time to sort through it all.  I have decided to share photos and stories from our vacation in pieces.  Hope you enjoy!

Without a doubt, one of my favorite things about living in Moscow is the metro.  It is easy to navigate, covers the majority of the city, and most of the time I do not have to wait more than two minutes for a train.  These are all of the practical reasons that I love the metro, but the added bonus is that most of the stations are beautiful.  Even the most boring stations have a significant amount of marble involved.

It can be easy to overlook these details when commuting.  There is so much hustle-and-bustle to get around  that I have been wanting to ride some of the lines from one end to the other, stopping at each station to appreciate them.  I mentioned this to Heather and Kevin, and since they wanted to see some of the stations as well, we decided to take the circle line around.  The pictures below come from the stations on this line, with the exception of the last three which are from the Mayakovskaya station on the green known.  This station was added in because it is considered one of the most beautiful and is one of the most famous in the world.

This post also marks the end of my vacation recap.  Sorry for stretching it out so long, there were just so many photos and so many adventures to share.  The good news is that I am wrapping this up just in time for our next vacation: Ben and I leave soon for Tallinn, Estonia!

Reminder: the photos are a mix of all of our photos, so big thanks to Ben, Heather, and Kevin for their contributions.  See below for the gallery!

до свидания!

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St. Petersburg: Part Three

27 Jan

So. Many. Photos.   While this is definitely a good thing, it also means that it is going to take some time to sort through it all.  I have decided to share photos and stories from our vacation in pieces.  Hope you enjoy!

After two crazy-busy days of tourism, we took a day off on Thursday to hang out and relax.  Our biggest accomplishment was braving the icy streets to go to the grocery store for some food.  It was a lovely day of family with feet up.

We were back at it on Friday, though.  We ventured out for brunch at Brooklyn Local Cafe. I was sold the moment I heard they actually had bagels.  Bagels are one of the things that I miss A LOT over here.  They made a good one, too.  Once we were fed, we visited the Russian Museum which is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St. Petersburg.

State Russian Museum

State Russian Museum

Since the Russian Museum is not quite as large as the Hermitage, we had time to walk around and explore a bit after.  We primarily wandered up and down Nevsky Prospekt, a main street in the city.  We were able to spend some more time looking at sites that we passed with our guide earlier as well.  This included walking around and taking a million photos of Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  It is certainly impressive and makes Moscow’s Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square look even more like a model at Disney than I originally thought.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

We had warm beverages at Cafe Singer in the Singer House, Kevin treated himself to a jersey at the Zenit store, we  marveled at the treats in the Kupetz Eliseyev Food Hall at the Eliseyev Emporium, enjoyed cocktails at the Grand Hotel Europe, and finished off the day with dinner at Van Der Wafel.

Saturday was our last day in St. Petersburg.  We planned a few last things, but spent much of the day packing up and preparing to head to Moscow.  We had lunch at the Idiot restaurant and then walked to see the Bronze Horseman statue.

Bronze Horseman

Bronze Horseman

Earlier in the week we decided to take an overnight train back to Moscow and books our tickets.  Our transportation to the station was very late and as we rushed onto the platform we learned that the train we selected was one of the very few trains that does not leave from the station known as the Station Where Trains to Moscow Depart From.  Since trains leave so often, we were able to find four spots on one that left a few hours later.  We grabbed a table and some beers and waited it out.  We were not able to get one compartment for all four of us, but Heather and Kevin were together with another couple, as were Ben and I, and we were in compartments next to each other.  I fell asleep before the woman even checked our tickets and overall enjoyed the overnight train.  It was a little warm in the car and the other couple with Ben and I were not the best roomies, but I would definitely travel this way again.

And then we were in Moscow!

Reminder: the photos are a mix of all of our photos, so big thanks to Ben, Heather, and Kevin for their contributions.  See below for the gallery!

до свидания!

Frequent Flyer

20 Nov

Almost 15 months ago I took my first international flight from LAX to Moscow.  I had been to port cities in Mexico by cruise and driven into Northern Ontario, Canada through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  And while I had flown between South Florida and Southern California many times, never enough to actually earn frequent flyer rewards.

Yesterday, I received this in my e-mail:

My recent trip to St. Louis bumped me up enough that I now have some formal status with Delta.*

I have been back to the States three times now since the move.  The first time I was with Ben, but back in June I flew back by myself.  Before the flight, I was a bit nervous about passport control and customs, not feeling confident without my partner to look to.  This trip, though, everything felt routine, even having to deal with the confusion of a cancelled and rescheduled flight.  I am amazed at how easily something like flying back-and-forth between continents can seem.

We haven’t planned too much for 2013 yet, but hopefully we’ll get to add some more miles to our frequent flyer memberships.

до свидания!

* It really helps that Aeroflot, Russia’s airline, is part of the Skymiles team.

Like Riding a Bicycle

2 Sep

Ben and I went on our first Moscow bike ride this morning!

Our bikes moved across the world with us, but since they were part of the much-delayed shipment we did not receive them until mid-December.  Winter really did not seem like a good time to take them out for a spin and by the time spring rolled around we had a pretty standard routine that did not include bike rides.

We took advantage of the break in the rainy weather to get in a ride today.  Thanks to a broken refrigerator, we were a bit delayed in our departure, but still managed to avoid too many crowds as we rode the sidewalks literally around Moscow’s center.  This is the path that we took, except we entered the ring from a different location (we actually live very close to the ring, so it’s quite convenient).

There are a number of things that I have witnessed as a pedestrian that I did not fully consider when planning a bike ride here.  First, Moscow does not really smooth down the curbs as crossings, so it was a rather bumpy ride.  Second, when crossing many major roads, there are underground walkways to avoid putting in crosswalks/lights.  These are very nice as a pedestrian.  However, I am not particularly good at carrying my bike up and down stairs and there were A LOT of these crossings.  Finally, it can be ridiculously confusing trying to stay on one street in Moscow.  Streets change names here a lot and there are also many streets with almost the exact same name in neighborhoods.  There were times during our ride when we had to stop and think about which of probably ten different streets would keep us on the ring.

Despite the fact that I expect my muscles to hate me tomorrow, I am looking forward to doing this ride again.

до свидания!

Weekending

11 Sep

Last night, after a relaxing day at home, Hubs and I walked around our neighborhood to find a place to have dinner.  We ended up at a chain sushi restaurant called Yakitoriya. They found us a server who spoke a decent amount of English and they even had a translated menu – making the experience a little easier. The food was tasty (although Ben is still trying to figure out how bacon-wrapped tomatoes are part of a seafood-kebob dish) and we tried out some green beer. On the walk home we grabbed some cobbler at a bakery half a block from our apartment. Overall, a successful date night/dining out adventure.   Continue reading