That’s right, Moscow, Russia! Recently I was in Moscow on what, by chance, turned out to be the 25th anniversary of my first trip there. My walks around the city brought back many memories and a sense of how much the city has changed, like the traffic! It is one of the reasons why many Muscovites, and visitors, walk and take the Metro. This was a typical morning commute outside my hotel. Traveling by car can be a long, arduous experience, so I choose to walk as much as I could.
I usually travel with my back pack for my camera gear and computer in order to download photos, but I decided against it since the trip was so short. I took my Canon 60D and one lens, Canon 24-105, that is great for all kinds of shots, plenty of memory cards, and my Lowepro sling bag. My sling made it easy to carry my gear, personal items, and a water bottle, which was needed as it was 85-90 degrees! I didn’t want to stand out too much, so the sling bag made it easy to tuck the camera away when needed.
What I love about Moscow, a city of almost of 10 million plus people, is the old among the new. Just around the corner of my hotel was a great example. In the midst of modern office buildings and shops is the Church of Saint Nicholas on Tverskaya. A really beautiful church built at the beginning of the 20th century that survived the Soviet era when many churches were destroyed.
Tverskya Street is one of Moscow’s main streets that leads to the Kremlin, so I took an afternoon to explore the city on foot. It can be challenging to walk on Moscow streets due to parked cars on the sidewalks and traffic coming from all directions, but I was pleased to see pedestrian friendly crosswalks, lights and parking spots that have been put in place over the last three years since I was last in Moscow. Even with the improvements there are often construction zones requiring detours.
Along Tverskya there are many squares with statues of important people in Russia’s history, such as this one honoring Alexander Pushkin, a famous poet during Russia’s romantic era. People regularly put flowers on his statue as a tribute to him and his work. Each of the squares along the way provides an opportunity to stop, take in a bit of history, and take photos.
To get across many of the streets I had to use the underground walkways. Some take you quickly to the other side, while others wind in many directions, often connecting to a Metro, so it is helpful to know where you are headed.
Moscow has created many walkable boulevards that lead to beautiful older sections of the city filled with restaurants, cafes, and shops such as this one below.
The Kremlin and surrounding Red Square are great places to go Camera Walking, but there are other parts of Moscow that deserve exploring. On a much cooler morning I took the Metro to Pushkin’s Square. Moscow Metros are quite beautiful, and in many you can walk quite a distance to transfer to other lines or to get outside.
While exploring an older section of Moscow I ended up at Patriarch’s Ponds, located in the affluent Presnensky District, rich with cafes and shops, many named after characters in Bulgakov’s famous book, The Master and Margarita.
Since I was heading to a meeting, I used my iPhone to capture the many photo treasures I discovered while walking around the pond, a relaxing place just a few blocks from busy Tverskya.
Camera Walking is a good way to get exercise and explore new areas when traveling, even in foreign places. But like any major foreign city, it is helpful to have a sense of where you want to go. A few tips: plan your walks in advance, consider hiring a guide if you are new to the city, bring good walking shoes, and know what the rules are for taking photos. There was a time when walking with my camera could have created problems. Fortunately that is not the case now, but every culture has “rules,” so be aware.
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