Welcome to this travel blog which is inspired by the wandering clouds effortlessly gliding through distant lands. Sometimes almost still as if watching the beauty of the earth below and at times rushing to some place far away – as if on an endless travel mission. This is where I share my observations, experiences and thoughts gathered during my travels

Saturday, August 6, 2011


When I landed at Moscow at four o’clock on a freezing January morning a few years ago, I first decided to forget about my nightmarish journey on Aeroflot and look ahead at what I could do in this historical city. I knew I had to work with three colleagues on a presentation that we were supposed to make at St. Petersburg after a couple of days. But since they were arriving at different times from different countries, I decided that I must go around before we sat down to work. It was bitterly cold outside, but I did not want that to affect my plans. I checked in at Hotel Budapest which is a nineteenth century building with beautiful interiors. The room looked a little too royal with red satins, golden wall papers and elegantly carved furniture. After having some hot chocolate, I played music on my laptop and dozed off for a few hours. I woke up, called my local colleague and took stock of the work we had to complete. We decided that since others were arriving later, we might as well begin work in the evening.

I had a hearty breakfast, picked up a map and a sightseeing brochure from the hotel lobby, asked the receptionist for some tips and set off to see the city. 

Statue of Karl Marx
Since the hotel was located close to the major attractions, I decided to walk. It was a busy working day, people walking on the streets, office-goers on their way to work, construction workers and civil engineers busy with road repair work and examining water pipes that were weak and could crack in winter - suddenly it did not feel so cold outside. I walked past a stone carved statue of Karl Marx at the Teatralnaya Square which had the inscription “Workers of the World Unite”. I found some elderly men sitting on benches and engrossed in intense discussions with newspapers on their laps. I wondered what they could be talking about- workers’ rights, fall-outs of reforms, party dynamics. I continued to walk and came to the Red Square. It was a huge square and standing at one end near the GUM store, I tried to imagine the interesting history of the Square- from being the site of bloody fights in the medieval times, to a place used for official parades and more recently even for rock concerts. A huge decorated Christmas tree in front of GUM conveyed that Christmas season was not yet over. 

St. Basil's Cathedral
The onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral stood out because of their architecture and colour. In front of the cathedral was a bronze statue of Minin and Pozharsky who saved Moscow in war with the Polish in early seventeenth century. The Kremlin wall was on one side, protecting Moscow Kremlin, the erstwhile royal bastion and currently the official residence of President of Russia. 
Lenin's Mausoleum

Lenin’s Mausoleum stood in front of the wall and the Kazan Cathedral on the other side. I had not come across so many important landmarks located in such close proximity and I think that is what makes the Red Square really unique. One can easily spend an entire day there absorbing the history and politics that are associated with the place. It was beginning to get dark and I walked back to the hotel taking another route so I could see a different part of the city.

By the time I reached the hotel, my colleagues had already arrived and we went to have an early dinner. The place had a nice warm feel to it with a Turkish flavour - hookahs, belly dancing and low divans to recline on. The next day, we went to our local colleague’s office, which was located in an old building and had many remnants of the Soviet era including Soviet style toilet blocks and a cafeteria with spartan mugs, plates and cutlery. I barely managed to find some vegetarian food. We worked until late evening. The temperatures had dipped further and I was glad I had managed to go around the previous day. Not sure when I would visit Moscow again, but when I do, I will certainly take a crash course on Russian political history before boarding an Aeroflot. That would help me better appreciate every street, every statue and every monument of this historical city. And perhaps also help me see the Aeroflot experience within a context!


  1. Wow! Moscow, I'd love to visit that place once..I wanna c the homeland of the dreaded KGB..

  2. Moscow is so beautiful, never been there. Beautiful pics.

  3. @Ana_treek - yes, there are many reasons why one must visit Moscow at least once.
    @Aakash - Thanks!