Fallen Monuments

Garden of fallen monuments

Lenin monument

We’ve been battling some sleep disturbance since our arrival in Moscow.  Not just because of the 8 hour difference from Jacksonville (actually 9 hours if our stay in Mexico counts), but because the sun is always out. Mike and I have found ourselves galavanting around town (sun still out and bright) thinking it is early to mid-evening only to find out it’s already 11 pm! Then later, just as we’re getting into a nice deep sleep, the sun rises yet again (around 4:45 am or so).  Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly happy to be here for the 18 hour days, especially considering the sunrise in the deep of winter here isn’t until 10 am or so, and then sunset is around 5.  If you’re counting, that makes for a  7 hour day—much too short for decent sightseeing opportunities.

Today started out finishing up seeing the “must see” metro stations.  We started out at Mayakovskaya station. It is known for its “stalinist architecture” and it’s mosaic ceilings extolling the “bright Soviet future.” A few snaps (or in Mike’s case, more than just a few), and we were off to the last of our must-see metro stations, Komsomolskaya station. This was definitely our favorite, with the yellow ceilings and baroque-ish style.  If there is only one metro station to see while in Moscow, I’d say this is the pick.

We continued to ride the Metro to Gorky Park, and walked around a bit.  Today being Monday, it was no surprise it was totally empty.  Mike decided it was “the saddest park that ever was” without the crowds. I’ll admit, it wasn’t Alexander Gardens, but, it had a “fun fair” vibe to it–even if it seemed past it’s prime. After a few minutes in the shade and a quick drink break, we crossed the street to the Garden of Fallen Monuments.  At first we only saw a bunch of unrecognizable statues in an unkempt yard. We were starting to get a little disappointed in what we were seeing when we walked to a section you have to pay to enter.  This is where all the soviet statues were “laid to rest” after the collapse of the USSR. It was pretty fun exploring the park, especially considering it may disappear soon due to projects slated for the space it occupies.

Overlooking the park from across the river is the Peter the Great Statue.  If this were trek for one, I would just say that it looks like it belongs in the “Fallen Monument” park. But, as this is trek for two, I have to quote Mike and say it looks like “a monument to the biggest douche in the world.” Seriously, it is an eyesore.  It’s sheer size is ridiculous. Mike says it seems like the kind of monument Steven Colbert would design for himself.  We aren’t alone in this sentiment.  First of all, the Statue of Liberty, which I always considered large and imposing, stands at 46 meters in height.  At more than twice the height, the Peter the Great Statue is 96 meters tall!  It has been included in various lists of the “ugliest structures or statues” in the world.  Moscow tried offering it to St. Petersburg, but it was refused. It’s basically a giant Muscovite hot potato!

We made our way over to another Russian restaurant ( Aka: PECTOPAH) to give the food another try.  While I don’t think Russian cuisine is the next big undiscovered culinary gem, I think Mike was a little harsh in his criticism of Russian food yesterday. Nevertheless, we certainly weren’t going to eat Pizza Hut and Subway for the rest of our time here.  So, we went to a Grabli cafeteria. It’s kind of like a “Picadilly” where you load up a tray as you move through stations and pay for each selection. The atmosphere was kind of like a Disney “Magic Kingdom” restaurant, maybe in the wild west section, with all the servers at the restaurant wearing cowboy hats. Overall, the food was better than yesterday, and we even got hot entrees and dessert. I would detail what we got, but when we got there we were so incredibly hungry, even I couldn’t be bothered with trying to read the Cyrillic descriptions to decipher them later.  All I know is I got some sort of omelet covered flattened steak with potatoes (of course) and Mike got cold borscht, fish, and potatoes. It was pretty much a feast, and overall way better than yesterday.

Moscow subway

Komsomolskaya station

Gorky Park

"Sad" park

Peter the "great" monument

Peter the "great" monument

 

Oh yeah, one last thing, we saw a few of these stands selling fast food type stuff. Not sure how to pronounce the name though:

"Crap-Dogs"?

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17 Responses to Fallen Monuments

  1. Ashley says:

    I knew it! Ah hah mike does like borscht!!!

    • Mike says:

      I’m not gonna lie, It was really delicious. Really cool and refreshing dill flavor. You know me, I tend to jump to conclusions, and I think we just didn’t care for that particular restaurant yesterday. Maybe the big boys there are on a “potato salad only” weight gain diet =)

    • Ashley says:

      I HATE borscht and everything it represents in my life. Remember my dream lol!

    • Mike says:

      Just eat some borscht. It’s delicious and refreshing. You’ll forget all about your dream =)

    • Marthita says:

      Ashley, I totally remembered that dream every time I saw the Borscht. I understand. But, as you know, Mike will still insist you try it. LOL!

  2. I just added your blog to my google reader! Exciting! :) I hope you’re having a great trip!

  3. Ingrid says:

    We had the same sleep issues when we were in Alaska a few years ago. We went to sleep really late and woke up super early and ended up pretty tired after a few days.
    There is/was a Russian restaurant here in Jax that I tried once before and once was enough!

    • Marthita says:

      We actually went to it when it was in Jacksonville—Mandarin, I think. Once was enough for us too, but, for some reason that memory escaped me until we were in Russia!

  4. Greg says:

    I totally have a craving for a Crap-Dog right now.

    • Marthita says:

      Turns out “Crapdogs” were delicious! Who knew bacon wrapped sausages with mashed potatoes, mustard, pickles, and crispy fried onions in a tortilla wrap would be so good! LOL!

  5. Ali says:

    Maybe I missed it in the details of an earlier post… but do you guys still have that impenetrable door stop or did it get taken yet?!?

    • Mike says:

      Nope, the doorstop/impaler is still with us. Made it through US and Russian customs. However, I’ve kind of been a big complainer about pack weight and have been looking for anything to be dropped to shed a few ounces here and there. If we we don’t get some use out of it in say, India, it’s going home in our next care package! BTW, the “cabin comfort” pillow did get left in Jax after a poor test run on the Mexico trip.

  6. Thanks for the replies! Lindsey, I’m so glad the blog is actually being read! The trip is different than I imagined and really fun. I hope the blog continues to convey that :)

  7. Christine says:

    Love the blog! I really look forward to reading it… If I can’t be there to experience it myself
    at least I can experience it through your senses!

  8. tao says:

    Mike you better not be sending the doorstop/impaler back home! I dont want you guys to die! or have someone break into your room! So just suck up the couple ounces it weighs and keep carrying it around! :-)

  9. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound to the head”, They say…

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