Posted by: viewfromtheriva | February 17, 2015

My quick split to Moscow


Always magical, St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square was lovingly restored a decade or so ago and now dazzles even more than ever!

Always magical, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square was lovingly restored a decade or so ago and now dazzles even more than ever!

I lived in Russia for almost a decade during the turbulent 90’s, working for a nonprofit organization, so when I had a chance to go back for a four day visit last week, I couldn’t wait.  Despite all the doom and gloom of Russia’s currency meltdown, the deteriorating economy and “new” Cold War between the US and Russia, I saw a very different country.  Yes, the ruble is now 60 to the $1 (it was 36 in the summer), but like here in Croatia, you can’t buy anything legally without using local currency, so for locals it’s just “the exchange rate”.

The ruble price of a bus or train (the way most Russians travel) is actually the same or less than it was in the summer.  The restaurant prices are the same too.  Some food items have gone up 10-20% but that’s it.  No long faces, no despair.  Moscow still looks gorgeous and all the friends I met just shrugged off the current problems as just another rough spell this very complicated country seems to go through every decade or so.

The view on Nikolskaya street, a pedestrian walkway that leads to Red Square is simply breathtaking

The view on Nikolskaya street, a pedestrian walkway that leads to Red Square is simply breathtaking

I had a wonderful time re-connecting.  There is something very special about the Russian character. The Mongols weren’t enough to keep them down, neither were the Tsars or Stalin.  And how they defeated a vastly superior German army in WW2 is still the stuff of legends that most Westerners never hear about.  The average Russian never forgot who came to their rescue in those dark days–it was us.  We however, have long forgotten.  But lucky me, I actually got to live here and even better, marry everyone’s favorite English teacher, my fabulous Natasha!

R and N

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Responses

  1. Lovely series of photos. Thank you so much for sharing. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. 🙂


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