Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Moscow Subway

Just a short post for now. I am sitting in the Panorama Lounge as our boat is going through a lock. We will be docking in Uglich in about an hour and then heading out for an afternoon walk through the town. And, of course, I will post about that when the time is right.

The Moscow subway is a thing to behold. It was largely built during Stalin's reign and his concept was the the stations should be like underground palaces. Well, maybe not quite, but certainly an improvement over the ones in New York.

The Moscow Subway Map
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As you can see, it is quite an extensive system and from what I saw on our bus tour there are subway stops all over the place.

I can't tell you the names of the stations that we got on and off at, but I think they were the first two that were built.

This is the name of the station where we caught our train, but I still couldn't tell you what it was.

You Try To Pronounce It
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And the subways are quite gorgeous. The one we entered was the deepest subway in the system and the escalators, which were all working, unlike in New York, were pretty impressive.

Gong Down, Mr. Tyler
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There was a big free concert in the park right across the street from the subway so the station was packed with young people coming and going. And still, the floors were immaculate. Again, it must just not be in most people's DNA to throw stuff on the ground, or else the penalty for doing so is so severe you just don't want to risk it.

And No Graffiti
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Now how long do you think a painting like that would last in a New York subway before it was defaced.

The other thing is that there is no advertising in either the subway stations or in the subway cars. And the subway cars, like the stations, are immaculate.

Waiting For Our Train
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The station where we got off was right by Red Square, the Kremlin, and Gum and it really was like a museum with around fifty bronze statues.

Just One Of Many
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The only thing remotely close to defacing the statues was a long tradition of touching the nose of the dog on two of the statues. It is considered good luck to do so, and almost everyone does.

Shiny Noses
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I wish we had a few more days in Moscow because I would really love to explore the subway system a bit more and see some different neighborhoods, Maybe hit a few local bars and try a neighborhood restaurant. But, unlike the other two river cruises I was on, there was no option for an extension in Moscow. Nor in St. Petersburg. You get your visa for the duration of your river cruise and there is no leeway on either end for any additional time. A pity, because it is often the stuff you do on your own without guides that is the most interesting. And it isn't because you have to have guides with you. You could go off on your own anytime you wanted to. Oh well, what can you do. It is unlikely that I will ever have the opportunity to return.

We are about to dock so I shall have to say good-bye for now. Much more to post about Moscow so I will try to do that later today after our walking-tour. Or not, depending on how much vodka I consume.


Joe non Papa said...

Touching the dog's nose is a lot like the NYC tradition of tourists touching the bronze bull in Bowling Green. Only they touch a different part of the anatomy.

Bar Man said...

There is a mermaid statue on the malecon in Puerto Vallarta and you can guess where the shiny spots are on that statue.