Last week, not even a week had passed since I returned from our 14 days Usa coastertrip, they asked me at work whether I was prepared to attend a meeting somewhere near Moscow.
As all flights for returning on Wednesday were full, I would only return on Thursday meaning I would have a full day to explore Moscow. So I said yes and my visa was arranged by speed procedure, hotels were booked and flights were booked.
Below my Moscow story.
Monday morning I was already early at Brussels airport. Since I had business class tickets, I had access to the lounge.
I love to be in those lounges : free food, drinks, internet, newspapers in a relaxed atmosphere.
Only at 5 pm I arrived at my hotel in the centre of Moscow. They've put me in a junior suite so I had more than space enough in my room. Here the living room.
The sleeping room.
The bathroom. There was an additional toilet + bathroom and hall of which I didn't take pics.
Enough stuff to shower 8 times.
My room was on the 19th floor, so the view was pretty nice.
The traffic in front of the hotel. This went on day and night. Moscow has by far the craziest drivers I've ever seen. But much more about that later.
The ministry of foreign affairs is in this building next to where my hotel was. Very convenient I thought to orientate myself to find back my way to the hotel. Later I found out that Stalin has built 7 of those more or less identical buildings in Moscow.
Clear. No problem =)
I was tired so decided to eat in the hotel at the panorama bar on the 23th floor. Similar views as from my room.
Next morning it was time to go to the client with 2 russian colleagues of mine. As the meeting was some 100 miles north of Moscow, I had time to shoot some pics from the car. We were not even driving 2 minutes before I saw this car parked on the right lane of the road. It was no exception at all. I saw hundreds of those.
A lot is being built in Moscow.
Yes, donkeys !
A lot of cars look like this. Also, approx 10 % of the cars still has their spike tyres on from last winter.
My colleague turned out to be a racechampion 20 years ago (no joke) and as we got delayed by getting out of Moscow, he speeded up once out of the city to be in time for the meeting. Here he was just going to race through those 2 trucks. He went on zigzagging through traffic at speeds of approx 100 mph and more, while speedlimit was at points only 40 mph. We also 'took' some trucks by driving over the shoulder of the road. Crazy ? For sure but most of the drivers in Russia seem to have been racepilots in a previous life. Really, everybody was driving this way.
One of the better house along the road.
Thanks to my racepilot colleague, we arrived at the agreed time for the meeting. Meeting passed on well but would be continued on Wednesday morning. So we stayed in a beautiful hotel nearby. This was the view on the Volga river from my roomterrace.
The resort used to be visited by the russian presidents in the past when they went hunting. In the lounge of the restaurant you could find back some of the animals they've shot. (at the wall. The 2 in the front are my Russian colleagues)
Soccer on tv and stuffed animals.
When I saw this one, I knew it wouldn't be a good idea to propose a Blair Witch project night walk to my colleagues.
Next morning we concluded the meeting and contract with the client so it was time to head back to Moscow. As you can see, highways only have a line in between with the opposite traffic. And this at +100 mph speeds. Crazy, just crazy.
Six Flags, euh I mean Ikea.
Where in the world don't they have Heineken.
At 2 pm I was on my own again and finally had time to explore Moscow. But first a word about the traffic lights. While light is still red, drivers start proceeding already on the crossroad. Don't ask me why because once the light pops to green, they are not able to see the green light anymore and they slow down everything. Anyway, this is common use in Moscow and can be seen at every traffic light.
My first mission was Gorky Park. It was a 30 minutes walk before I arrived at this bridge. Behind this bridge, I should find back Gorky Park.
Ah, a looping coaster, Sbno it turned out later.
But the coaster next to it was running :-)
Quick shot of a statue I noticed to the left.
Entrance to Gorky Park.
Entrance to Gorky Park costed 80 Rub, being approx 3 usd.
First attraction : electric cars.
It's quite a nice park.
Wheelchairs need to go on tracks like that on all stairs in Moscow.
BEER !! (hey Hans ;-) )
Simulator attraction. Doesn't that look nice ?
Sbno ? No way, they were still in operation.
You had to pay per attraction in the park so I didn't do all rides. No idea what this attraction was but it didn't really look inviting.
Another Sbno coaster.
The train was still on the track though.
As said it's a nice place to be.
The toilets in the park. Unfortunately I had to do nr 1 and I had a close encounter with the dirtiest toilet I've ever seen, by FAR ! For nr 2, you could get some old newspaper sheets from the toilet lady. Yes really ! The lady was nice enough to offer me a wet paper to clean my hands but I had icky hands the rest of the afternoon.
Time to forget the toilets.
At the other side of the park, you have a view on the Moskva river.
Isn't that nice ?
Swinging flatride with palmtree theming.
Food and drinkstalls.
It looks old. Probably because it is old.
Gorky Park midway.
No rule bumpcars.
Isn't that the strangest thing you've ever seen ?
Russians must love to shoot, as there were about 7 or 8 shooting attractions.
A themed restaurant.
My first credit of the day.
I have a request to Mr Coasterfanatics : can you please add the Gorky Park coasters on your site ? I want those credits on my account badly ;-)
Russians love coasters. This was the first line I saw in the park
Very popular to watch aswell.
Kiddie fly flat ride.
Paris ? Kings Island ? Kings Dominion ? No Gorky park.
Look at that. After all the old and basic rides, I really didn't expect something like this.
The ride was ok too. Some nice effects inside.
You can be Jack Sparrow in Gorky Park.
Or Brad Pitt
Or this lady
Or this one ;-)
I didn't dare to enter (I don't know what Russians mean with black holes ;-) )
Even the Russian space shuttle has landed at Gorky Park.
Another shooting attraction.
Occasionally a car drives through Gorky Park.
There is even a wild park.
Waterrides are also popular.
Actually pretty good.
Back of the theming.
The looper a bit closer.
Credit 3. The operator didn't understand however that I wanted to ride and since we had a small language problem, I didn't bother and didn't ride it.
Six Flags again.
When exiting Gorky Park, I noticed there was another small themepark. So far, name unknown to me.
Dark ride. As I still had some things on the agenda, I left this small park after 10 minutes.
Only trolley busses in Moscow.
Oops. One of the bars lost contact with electricity.
No problem. The ladydriver fixed it in 30 seconds.
Stalin statue, sponsored by Japan.
Pay attention to the following pics. So light is red to cross the street by foot. Huge amount of cars are passing in all directions at 30 mph.
Suddenly people start crossing the street. Cars are not slowing down one mile.
Another group starting to run.
After this had happened, I joined a group (running in the middle) to cross the street while light was still red. So after 3 days I already start to feel at home in Moscow traffic. And btw, the light was red for a long time already after all.
Luckily they don't translate the groupnames. So Iron Maiden is doing a concert in Moscow the 19th of one of these months.
Traffic jams everywhere in Moscow. My eyes and throat were hurting because of the heavy pollution at that time.
Look at the 2 cars going to the left in the middle of the street. The first one is a policecar. The second one some smartass rich guy linejumping the traffic jam.
Police is really everywhere but I think they're all blind policemen.
Clearly I ended up at the better part of the city.
Cars parked in the middle of the road. Really, nobody was inside of those cars.
'Lock trees'. No idea what it stands for.
I saw that before.
More traffic jams.
Red Square. Red means nice in Russian.
Other side of the river, sponsored by Japan again.
One of the 7 buildings.
For those who thought my camera was travelling alone (Hi Beeja ;-) ), here I am.
So it's a nice square. It's not red !
Fake wall. Yes Moscow is a themepark.
A concert was scheduled for the evening. Don't know who. But it wasn't Iron Maiden because that was the 19 of June or July or August or ...
Last shot of the castle.
Stretch limo, sponsored by Japan.
Walking round the Kremlin.
The White House.
... sponsored by Japan.
Kremlin entrace which was closed already (it was 7 pm in the meanwhile)
Ok, now find my way back to the hotel. First problem : how the hell do I cross this street ? As far as I could see, no traffic lights. Mmmh ? Doesn't anybody at my side of the street has to be at the other side ?
After 10 minutes I figured out that I enter this and make use of the premetro to cross the street.
Movie theathre. Kungfu Panda was out already.
I took this street on my way to the hotel. This was a very nice place. No cars, a lot of shops & artists. This must be the Ramblas of Moscow.
Decided to eat at a familiar place this time.
How could I know that there was a McDonaldski nearby ?
Aaah found my hotel.
But first had to cross the street again. Now that I knew how it worked, it was easy.
Incredible TR, Groteslurf! You really captured the feel of the city. I feel like I've been there now.
I loved the billboards advertising the radio hosts (presumably), especially the one spoofing a James Bond poster. That, and the Fresh Step cat litter advertisement plastered all over the bus. We are so different, yet so similar.
Talk about places you don't hear from often! Fascinating, I was really expecting Moscow to be really run-down, and not to say that it wasn't (looks like you spent a lot of time in nice business districts), but its nice to see capitalism is working for some of the people there
IRON MAIDEN ROCKS, btw those wheel chair ramps look insane, At DCA one of my friends had a broken ankle and was in a wheel chair, we were about to ride soarin and I was lazy and there was a small ramp like fifteen feet long and not too steep. My friend weighs about 20 more pounds than me and was heavy so i let go of the chair. ( I told him i was going to do so as the ride was at the bottom of the ramp) I swear he went like ten miles per hour down this tiny little ramp. It was crazy.
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