Frosty Wonder - Moscow on Film

Sometime early in the month, we checked the weather projection for Moscow and Jenna asked “whose stupid idea was this?" Who goes to Russia on vacation in the middle of February? We did, and while it was indeed a sort of extreme sport to stay un-frost bitten, the experience left the same satisfaction of surviving an extreme sport- but for three days. Grand opulence and confrontational history at every turn, Moscow managed to feel friendly and warm and completely different from anywhere else (even in the most intense cold imaginable).

A friend in SF had introduced us via email to two sets of people before we left: the older set who could show up with guns if we were in trouble (fortunately not necessary, though the police did seem like they might capture us for no reason) and the younger set who might be able to show us some fun. Meeting I and A and their group of friends felt a bit like winning the lottery. As seen in my previous post, there was no shortage of fun, including Georgian food at a restaurant with a live-in goat, scary rides in real gypsy cabs (I: “ok, let’s all split up, one good negotiating Russian per car, see you all there") and passing “face control" (A: “They’re cold, they’re from San Francisco- let them in the club”).

With the exception of a fall by A, a wee train station anxiety attack by me, and some seriously intense jet lag, we couldn’t have had a more wonderful time in Russia had they been the nicest Spring days in the world. And hey, who gets to say they watched their friend’s eyelashes freeze before their eyes?


Red Square and the mall that saved us when we realized we needed to get indoors NOW


New Tretyakov Art Gallery

So much amazing art that we weren’t allowed to photograph (I snuck these :) Favorites were this and this and this and this.


Warming


Breakfast below 20 at Upside Down Cake

Ha, this is when we went next door for breakfast (and saved, say, $100 from the previous morning’s breakfast in the hotel)- and realized it seemed a bit colder than yesterday, best to go back for more layers. We then checked the weather- it was -26*f …Yeah.


Arbat

Despite realizing how insanely cold it was, we trekked to the Arbat area which was gorgeous. We spent more time outside this day than previous days, winding down cute little streets, seeing amazing architecture, peeking into shops to stay warm…

Unfortunately, this is also where a photo or two go missing. I’m not sure why, but I do remember changing film on the street while my hands got frost burned.

Imagine looking down a pretty street lined with big ancient street lights and colorful buildings…

and streets filled with huddles of humans dressed as big minky bear fur people, holding hands and banding together for warmth.


Kremlin


Leaving the Kremlin amazingness


Not scared. Not scared. Not scared.