Welcome to the A to Z Challenge, an initiative that invites bloggers to post an alphabet-themed post every day (excluding Sundays) during the month of April. As part of this challenge, I’ll be sharing some of my travel memories to known and unknown places in the hope to inspire your travel dreams.
R is for…Red Square (Moscow, Russia)
It finally came to pass, my 75 year old grandmother (whom I was named after) and I were embarking on our first trip together. She is the only other travel obsessed person in our family, so it was extraordinary to be able to finally travel together. And believe me, it was not easy for the two of us to come up with a destination that neither of us had visited before! But we found it in Russia.
The Red Square in Moscow is the starting point for most people’s explorations of this vibrant city. And why not? It houses the Kremlin, the Presidential residences, the beautiful and iconic St Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the famous GUM department store. The Red Square in Moscow is what people visualize when you say Russia.
Standing outside the gates of the Red Square waiting to enter, all I can do is soak up the vibe. Moscow has an edge to it. It is everything I expected and nothing like I expected. Women with 3 inch heals precariously teetering on the cobblestone streets provides endless entertainment as our guide drones on about the history of the Red Square.
And finally we are allowed to walk, to walk past the statues welcoming us and past the traditionally dressed sellers begging for business. Even though we have seen images of this on television hundreds of times, it is breathtaking as the massive square appears before us. I’m not sure what to look at first – the Kremlin, St Basils Cathedral in the distance or the masses of people soaking up history just like we are.
Visiting the Red Square was like stepping into a history book for me. It’s one of those places that just seems unreal. Even though I didn’t listen to the guide, I can feel the history of this square bearing down on me. My mind goes to images of this square filled with soldiers, wondering how many soldiers it would take to fill this area.
Walking around the cobblestone square, we spend the day exploring the beautiful St Basil’s Cathedral and areas of the Kremlin, eat at a traditional soviet era cafeteria style lunch inside the GUM department store and just soak up the amazingness of this historic center.
It’s one of those places that you just don’t want to leave. You want to see it in every light. We were lucky to be able to see it several times in during our visit to Moscow, but never able to get our fill.