Here, in the final part of our Visitations series we present another quick-fire round of places to see and things to do, with advice indirectly from a Russian colleague – yes it’s the inside track!
The following text has been translated via a Russian-to-English translation from a larger work and further adapted here. Although the original author author prefers to remain nameless, you can find the original (translated) work and a lot more on Live Journal. Strap in.
If you are interested in weapons and military technology, you’ll surely enjoy Patriot Park, located 55Km West of central Moscow (closest railway station: “Kubinka”). During the open Summer season it is host for trade exhibitions showcasing assorted types of weapons and equipment, competitions and air shows. Now officially a “branch” of the park, Kubinka Tank Museum is also close by and includes numerous war machines from history that either assisted or assailed the Russian military.
If that is not enough hardware then consider the town of Zhukovsky, 50Km South West of the capital’s centre. Here, the airport hosts the International Air Space Salon – MAKS (or MAKS Airshow) takes place, where the latest military and civilian planes, helicopters and other aircraft are presented. The next MAKS show is scheduled for July 23rd – 28th 2019.
In spite of it’s stereotypical grey Soviet concrete, Moscow has a veritable abundance of greenery in the form of trees and parks. Amongst them, we should mention Vorobyovy Gory (“Sparrow Hills”) Nature Preserve, itself an extension of the world-famous Gorky Park. The VDNKh All-Russia Exhibition Center is a vast hybrid amalgam of concrete history, amusement park, trade fair, science/space park and more, with themed areas housed in their own discrete pavilions.
After having your minds truly ‘blown’; why not recuperate in the accompanying Botanic Gardens or the Ostankino Park. Zaryadye Park is a modern addition worthy of note; opened in 2017 it merges modern concrete design with reassuring green space. A favourite of Moscovites; the vast Serebryany Bor (SIlver Pinewood) lies within the city’s Western limits and accommodates many outdoor pursuits, from cycling to weddings, during the Summer. Other gems of greenery await.
For an alternative perspective, quite literally, you can enjoy an eagle’s view of Moscow at the observation sites on Vorobyovy Gory (again) or from Ostankino TV Tower which also houses the renowned, 7th Heaven rotating restaurant, plus cafe and coffee bar, all at altitudes exceeding 300 Metres.
During the heat, a river or sea cruise can be just thing. Why not cruise the Volga from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg or continue on the river’s leisurely course around the “Golden Ring” cities? This is a multi-stage excursion taking 10 or more days and stopping at such towns as Plyos, Kostroma, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan, Volgograd, Samara, Saratov, and Astrakhan along the way.
There are other similar cruises available, along several rivers including the Kama (West-central Russia) and the Belaya (in the Southern Urals) as well as various river and sea voyages departing from Saint-Petersburg. Alternatively you can cruise Siberian rivers (in the summer season), along the Ob (Western Siberia), the Yenisei (Eastern Siberia) or voyage around the magnificent Lake Baikal. So many options.