This morning I took a walk through Moscow. It is the end of September and the weather can be described as comfortably autumnal. The sky is gray and the air is cool, but not uncomfortably so. In Boston before I left, the weather was sunny and 60-70 degrees, however, here in Moscow the 50 degree, wet weather is considered to be mild for this time.
Walking through a new city is a wonderful way to get to know a place. Unlike the metro or even a taxi, walking allows you to see how the city connects and unfolds. Today, I walked around part of the “Golden Ring” (zolotoye kol’tso) which is a long road that makes wide circle around Moscow’s city center. This road diverts traffic through the center and makes it easy to get from one side of Moscow to the other. I only walked along a short part of this road before turning towards the center, but along the way, I stopped at Patriarch’s pond.
If anyone out there is a fan of Russian literature, you may remember that Patriarch’s Pond is the opening setting of the famous fantastical Russian novel “Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov, where the protagonists meet the devil, who is disguised as a magician.
From Patriarch’s Pond, I walked down one of the main roads “Tverskaya,” which is a well-known shopping street in Moscow. I may head back this way to go souvenir shopping. I would always recommend going to someplace like Tverskaya to buy souvenirs rather than the Kremlin, as everything they sell is the same, it is just the prices that are noticeably different. Continuing on my route, I went towards the center and I could see the entrance to the Kremlin in the distance. I did not enter the Kremlin today, I have been a few times before, but will likely wander around there tomorrow morning. Turning back towards the hotel, I then went down “Novoy Arbat” (New Arbat) street, which is another main street but with more modern structures.
It is very easy to get around Moscow without a car. There are many underground tunnels, which allow pedestrians to cross busy streets without worrying about traffic. The subway system is extensive and efficient, and if there isn’t a metro towards your destination, you can likely find a bus going in that direction. Even today when the sky was gray and the rain was on the horizon, this was still a good day by Moscow standards. So, Dear Reader, if you are lucky enough to visit Russia on a “nice” day, you may as well enjoy a walk outside while it lasts.