Sunday, August 23, 2015
First Impressions of Moscow, Russia
I have always wanted to go to Russia, but I was also somewhat worried that it would kind of a scary place. I love the onion domed architecture and the culture that produced such a rich literature, but I was wary of a place that had produced Stalin and Putin in recent years and a whole string of despots throughout it's history. I decided up front that we would need a guide, that I couldn't just hope for the best, which is how we usually travel. We like to go with a dictionary and a phrasebook and the kindness of strangers as a rule, but I felt like Russia would be an exception.
I turns out that I had it all wrong. I wanted to see Moscow, but I wasn't excited about it. The fact that I loved Moscow was my first hint that I had been wrong about it from the beginning. One of the persistent questions was how they were being perceived in the press, and the answer was not well at all, of course, and it has had the inevitable effect on tourism. This picture accurately reflects how I think about Moscow, a mix of new and old, ethnically diverse and all around surprising.