It is not a coincidence that just in April this year, Russia scrapped Visas for South African citizens. I believe that it was a plan by God to give me an opportunity to finally visit Moscow.
The cheapest flights to Paris were via Moscow so I deliberately booked a return flight with a day layover in the capital. I was too tired on my way back from Paris and on my periods so I just wanted to go home, but I dragged on because I could not miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I arrived early in the morning and although the airline desk emphasized to me that I could not go out without a Visa, I refused to be discouraged. I went to immigration and after too many uncomfortable stares and comparisons between me and the picture on my passport, I was finally let through. After struggling to find someone to help me and show me the way, I finally found a nice young Russian lady who could speak in English and a taxi driver that helped me.
I hustled my way around the bus and subway systems until I got to the Red Square. Once again I was in a different country where I did not speak the language. Nevertheless, I managed to find my way around, saw what I wanted to see, went through another immigration hurdle (story for another day) and had enough time left before my flight back to Tokyo.
The Red Square
I finally got to see the Red Square. The beauty lived up to the hype. It is a lovely place.
St. Basil’s Cathedral
The main reason I wanted to visit the Red Square was St. Basil’s Cathedral. The colourful patterns, shapes and the onion roofs make it look like something from a cartoon.
State Historical Museum
This is the attractive red building opposite St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Around the Square
It was nice taking a walk around. I visited Gum shopping center and watched some kind of military, army event going on; whatever that was.
Before finding the Red Square, I happened to stumble across the Kremlin. It was one of those times when I thanked God I got lost. The Kremlin was not even on my agenda but ended up being worth a visit. The reason for going there was because I did not know how to get to the Red Square
This was also not on my agenda but just happened to be on the way between the Red Square and the subway.
I was impressed by the subway in Moscow. It was spotlessly clean and the train stations were as beautifully designed as art galleries. The Moscow subway can definitely rival Tokyo and wins over Tokyo in terms of art decor.
The rest of Moscow
Although I had a short time in Moscow, what I saw was enough to make me want to go back.