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RUSSIA

In ❤ with Moscow

Chapter – I

I truly fell in love with mother Russia as soon as I was soaked by a light drizzle immediately after landing Sheremetyevo – A.S. Pushkin international airport after a tiring 08 hours long flight as Pakistan closed it’s airspace for all civilian traffic. At the peak of summer during july the temperature suddenly dropped to 10 degree celsius with chilly winds.  On an approx. drive of 45 mins to 01 hrs towards the city centre, you can witness a lot of greenery in the outskirts of the city. Moscow the capital of Russia, actually called “Moscova” in Russian was found in 1147. The city is situated on the Moscova river, on which it has been named after. It is the largest city on the European continent.

My stay was arranged at Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park, a new premium business hotel, located next to the famous VTB Arena-Central Dynamo Stadium ,the historic Petrovsky Park & the Petroff Palace. This high-end hotel has an advantageous location. The 14-storey property has total no. of 298 rooms along with 14 meeting rooms, indoor swimming pool & a sky bar at the 14th floor, this cocktail bar & Restaurant is an exquisite place to rest after a busy day while enjoying the view of sun-set and experiencing exclusive cocktails, modern mixes, wines and other beverages. The hotel has an Indian chef & they can arrange Indian food for breakfast as well on special request.

“Avtomat Kalashnikova” or simply know as AK-47 was invented in Moscow by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the year 1947. So on my very first day I visited a shooting range as a trip to Moscow will be incomplete without blazing some guns. There are lots of shooting galleries in the city where you can enjoy once in a lifetime experience of shooting some really cool firearms. You don’t have to be an expert marksman as you will be provided with proper safety gear & also guided by professional trainers to confirm firearm safety. I tried my hand on Glock 17 & Makarov pistols & AK-47 assault rifle with 10 rounds each. You can take back your target sheet as a memento which will be reminding you of the recoil.

After a rush of adrenaline it was time to try some delicious food. There are too many good Indian restaurants, Khajuraho being one of the best among them with a uniquely romantic ambience, Indian popular music & kamasutra sculptures but I always crave for some local delights & if you feel the same try some “Pelmeni” (pastry dumplings filled with minced meat) it’s considered as the national dish of Russia & “Blini” a Russian and Ukrainian pancake, eaten in abominable quantities during Masletnisa week, a celebration greeting spring. It is something really close to Russian stomach and soul.

In the evening we took a journey along the Moscow river on an exclusive dinner cruise. Since I joined a group, Indian dinner was an arrangement with cocktail & beers. There was also a belly dance performance on board. The deck consists of two decks, the upper deck being open you can view the panoramic views of almost all the major attractions of the city & the same can also be viewed from the lower deck enjoying the savoury victuals & drinks. On this 02 hours cruise you will observe the Ukraine hotel, Sparrow Hills, Luzhniki Olympic Stadium, Moscow City, Gorky Park, Ministry of Defence, Monument to Peter the Great, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Crimean Bridge, Kremlin Palaces and Cathedrals, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Zaryadye Park, Floating Bridge,  Moscow Music Hall, Tretyakov Gallery, Red October Chocolate Factory, and Muzeon Park.

During summer the average day light lasts for almost 17 hours, due to which usually the sun sets around 22:00 hrs. this will give you the opportunity to spectate the stunning views of the city during the day as well as the dusk when Moscow turns on all of its lights.

Russians simply love to party & before getting back to the hotel I decided to visit a nightclub. The 6th largest city in world with a population of over 12 million people there are more clubs, lounges & bars than one can count.       

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