Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seven Sisters I: Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building

When you walk around Moscow, you will see some huge buildings which were built as a combination of baroque and gothic styles. They look very impressive. Actually the motivation behind their creation was Stalin’s words which had been recalled by Nikita Khrushchev: “We won the war ... foreigners will come to Moscow, walk around, and there's no skyscrapers. If they compare Moscow to capitalist cities, it's a moral blow to us". He decided to build seven
skyscrapers which look like NewYorks skyscrapers. These buildings are known as Seven Sisters in foreign literature, but Moscow people call them vysotki, which means talls. These buildings are namely Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Apartments, Hotel Ukraina, the Kudrinskaya Square Building, the Leningradskaya Hotel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow State University, and the Red Gates Administrative Building. They were built from 1947 to 1953 under Stalin’s command.

Me with my friend Ahmet Olgun, who is interested in photography, decided to take photos of these buildings and try to introduce each one of them briefly here. We started with one of the most beautiful of them, the one lying near the Moscow River Embankment, namely Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building. Its main tower has 32 levels (including mechanical floors) and is 176 meters tall. By the end of World War II, the side wing was converted to multi-family kommunalka housing, in a contrast to the planned elite status of the main tower. Behind the building lays down a hill with historical architecture and very narrow old streets. Therefore, the architect of it, Dmitry Chechylin (then Chief Architect of Moscow), was criticized too much for disregard of this fact and ruin that historical area. But he had so powerful bureaucratic influence (this is very likely to Russia nowadaysJ) which brushed of any critics. When you walk or drive through the embankment, this building seems so impressive. It seems very nice both day and night. The photo which was taken during night is the side view of the building from south-east, and the ones which were taken during day are the side view from south-west. We will continue by Moscow State University in the following days…

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Che: Hasta Siempre (Museum House)

Last weekend, with one of my Russian friend's advice I visited the exhibition “Che: Hasta Siempre” at the Dom Nashokina gallery. I knew from my observations that Latin culture is loved in Moscow, so I thought it would be nice to see such a museum.

The museum is a small house with two floors and 6-7 rooms. On rooms walls some great, classic images of revolutionary Che Guevara and his tovarischi is shown. The photographs in the exhibition include original images, modern prints and photos taken by the man himself. And while these are the main draw, there was also documentary video footage, personal letters and other unique items from Che’s revolutionary years on display.

Actually since the house was small, it took not much, like 40 minutes to see all the house, and I was expecting to see more interesting things, personal belongings of Che but unfortunately mostly photographs and paintings were exhibited. Anyway, it was interesting to see and understand Che's life and story. “Che: Hasta Siempre” can be especially interesting for those interested in history and socialism.

Che is so loved and popular in Moscow even there is a popular club called: Che Club.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Park Pobedy - Moscow's Victory Park

Victory park, is one of the main parks in Moscow, located on Kutuzevski Prospekt at the west part of Moscow, not far from the center (metro Park Pobedy). It is build and designed as a monument park for the time of Great Patriotic War. It also contains history museum of second world war, which is an interesting place to see and feel these times of war.

The park is the main area for celebrations in Moscow for victory day, other patriotic national days. Concerts are given, music played as well as other activities. Also it is one of the main places for wedding coupes to have a walk and take nice pictures.

In the park, there are walking paths, some lakes, green area; as well you can see many roller skatig people since it has large plain area. Also some old helicopters, tanks related with the second world war is located in some parts of the park for exhibition; like an open air museum.

I can say this park is one of the top 5 parks of Moscow, and with its central location, close to metro, can be seen as a touristic activity as well.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Casta Diva - A Resturant for Special Days

Moscow is very rich in restaurants of differrent kitchens and cultures. You can find a large varity from cheap ordinary fast foods to very luxury, good serviced restaurants. Also on the web you can find sites giving ratings, telling about the restaurants. But any way its always better to try a place which your friends or someone you know have tried and offered you. So now I would offer such good and nice restaurant in Moscow : Casta Diva.

In some special days, like birthday, day of Valentine etc. we search for a special restaurant. I would offer you the resturant Casta Diva, which is located in the center, close to Tverskaya street near Puskin statue. It is an Italian resurant mainly but also has some other kinds of food as wll. It is a few houses away from the famous Pushkin Kafe. It has a very special interial design, like a tsars palace, all walls and ceiling with special paintings, tables and chairs with special design. Waiters and waitresses wear special old times dresses and serves very gently. Prices compared to same level resturants very reasonable and not expensive. For two person drinking a glass of wine, nice foods you can have a bill like 4000-5000 RUB (of course not choosing the most expensive food). Even having less it woull be 2000-3000 RUB.

In some days of the week, live classical music is played with a group of 4-5 people. That makes the resturant also very special. I liked this resturant and felt myself in a special place. So I would offer you to try this restaurant in your special day.

Web site:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Blog on Press and Web

Through this month I got suprising and nice news about my blog.

My blog was published on Aeroflots' (Russian Airlines) journal Junior under the topic of best expat blogs about Russia. My friend travelling to Tokyo ,saw it by chance and he informed me about this at return. So that was a great suprise for me.

Also my blog is published on two expat blog internet sites and I get offer to make interview about me and my site.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kuskovo Park

One of the nice parks located at south-east of Moscow, not very far from the center is Kuskova Park. This place was one of the resting palaces of the Ekatarina the Great(II. Ekatarina). Having buildings, exhibition rooms, lake and green areas and walk ways a nice park to see. It is also one of the favorite places of people getting married to take photgraphs, to make a small walk and celebration. On weekends, specially on nice weathers you can see many limuzines near the enterance of the park.

In the rating of Moscow Parks, I think it is a little over the average. It is nice to see one time, but not much activities or interesting places to see, no sitting places in the park. Walking roads are a little bit dusty as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Interesting Things in Russia - I (Public Cases)

There are things that might come different, strange or not understandable as a Turkish in Russia and Moscow. A few months ago I saw such a list prepared by a Turkish man in Turkish. It was interesting. Now my list comes, having some similar strangeness of Russia.

You can see white boxes located on streets which perform as public Toilet System. They are very unhygenic, smelling and for two small toilet cabins a Russian woman is waiting to take money. Even though, on some toilets can be queue of 10-20 people: beer.

- Russian troleybus system, which is not understandable in a country where petrol is produced and so cheap. Also they broke in the middle of the road, driver Russian women trying to repair it.

- As a driver of bus, troleybus or train you can mostly see women.

- Berbers for men and women is the same and moslty women cut your hairs.

- Instead of normal small shops you see small buffets which look very old, untidy located on streets.

- Fruits are sold in small metal bufets also, where people buy one-two of each, where everything is so expensive.

-You can see old "jiguli"s and luxury Bentleys' going on road together. Large variety of cars from very poor to very luxury.

- There is very little official taxi. You can make auto stop and every car can be your taxi.

- How much taxi will cost depend on your talking and knowledge of prices. Same road can be 10 dollars or 80 dollars.

- You see many nice Russian girls on street but very very little handsome Russian man.

- People drink beer everywhere, specially at exit of metros, like public beer cafes.

- Beer is like cola is Russia. Some people start day by drinking beer in the morning.

- Roads are large, which can be like 5-6 parallel going, but anyway traffic happens.

- Traffic can stop or flow so slowly for an unknown reason and everybody waits in patience without giving any reaction. After some kilometers it can opens suddenly and you don't understand why was all this traffic for.

- So much small accidents happens and even for very small hitting car drivers can wait the police for hours in patience.

- Soviet houses are large and very long block of flats, where 150-200 flat can be in one block.

- Entry of houses are with a strange entry door to the building, where if you hare foreigner you may have difficulty to understand it is the entrance.

- You enter the houses with some codes and up to your home you have to open 5 doors.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Russian Sauna

Suana has an important place in Russian culture to relax, have nice time with friends and for health. Private sauna saloons can be found on different regions of Moscow. Also some dachas (Russian summer houses), most sport/fitness centers, hotels have their own saunas. Made wooden inside, burning coal in the corner of the room, with a room temperature of nearly 100 Celsius degrees makes you hot, wet and healthy. Even in winter, some Russians prefer to go to street while snow falling to get the health and that refreshment. Also drinking beer, wine or tea at table near sauna is a must part of this culture.

All around Moscow, you can find many saunas located at different regions with a simple search on the internet. But you have to be carefull about choosing a good, clean and quality sauna. Because some saunas perform other purposes for men to have a few hours fun. In some saunas there are even catalog of girls, erotic cd etc. options. And some of them are located at hidden places under apartments, where nothing can be otherstood there is a sauna from the street at all. I have met with such a place while my search, and quickly exited by saying thanks.

Finding a good sauna saloon, you can rent the sauna place for a few hours for 2 people or with a friend group of 4-6 people together. In the sauna saloons there are usually: the sauna, cold water pool, bedroom, tv/music system, table for eating, shower, dressing part and billiard. It is relaxing and healthy activity. After staying 10 minutes in hot room and becoming wet, diving into cold icy water makes you fresh and strong. Having nice time with friends, you forget the daily problems and become relaxed as well.

This activity should be in your list for Moscow to be done once in every 3-4 months. But don't forget to find a good and clean sauna...

Kva-Kva Aquapark in Moscow

One of the nice summer activities you can do in Moscow, similar to beaches is aquapark. There is one aquapark in Moscow named as "Kva-Kva" located at north of the city, on Yaroslavski Shosse not far from cith center.

It is a closed place, not so large as special aquaparks in Kusadasi, Bodrum or Antalya in Turkey. Mostly young people or families with children go there. Also sauna, spa, massage options are available according to your choice. You can stay there all day or buy a 2 hour ticket. 2 hours was enough for me actually. I advice to see that place at least one time also, you can have a few hours nice time there.

In summer, saturday nigths there are special parties as well. A club concept is formed inside the aquapark, where djs, dancing place, lights and music is prepeared in the park. While swimming and having fun, you can have a club enviroment at the same time. Parties starting at 23 upto morning. Different and nice time you can have for a saturday night.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moscow Beaches

After living two summers in Moscow, finally I have discovered the beaches in Moscow. It was hard before to imagine a beach in a city far away from the sea; but there was. And they were quite fine according to Russian standards. After visiting these beaches I was regretfull not to come these places much before.

The beaches in Moscow are usually located near rivers or lakes, where some sand is put to the coast or a green area mixed with sand is formed. It is possible to play volleyball, do other sport activites as well. The concept is to lay down under the sun, rest and have a sun burn. In some beaches, water can be defined as clean and possible to swim, but i wasn't brave yet enough to swim.

The beaches I can offer to you is serebrenniy dvor(1,2,3,4) and rublevo plaj. These places are very crowdy in weekends and it would be better idea to go in the morning to have a good place and not to stuck in traffic. So "moscow beaches" is must to do Moscow activity in summers for me since then...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Car Break in Moscow

Moscow can be dangerous is different ways, which i experienced as break of my car glass for robbery of navigator this week. Before this happened, i was not thinking much about such things can happen to me and believing my house's region is secure.

At the day of event, after coming from work I couldn't find any free parking place and cannot as usual park my car to the front part of the apartment. So i turned to back of the apartments which i was not preferring because of dark and calmness of the place; but there was not much other choice. In the morning like 11 i looked from the window and saw there was a paper on my cars front glass. I thought it was an advertisement, but there was no on other cars. Some bad ideas came to my mind but car was there and looking normal. After 3-4 hours later I get out and saw the polices telephone was written; then saw the right glass of my car was broken. I had made a big mistake and left my navigator in a seen place. It was stoled. But they didnt took the sun glasses and parfumes or others document in the car. I called police, and then the procedures and time taking steps took place.

Of course such thing happens in many big cities, and now i understand my people specially pay for secured parking places. The lessons from this in Moscow:

1) Dont leave any thing seenable at car such as navigator, box, coat etc...
2) Dont leave the car in a dark or calm place.
3) Put a small lighting unreal alarm or real alarm which my maybe afraid robbers.
4) Buy your car from an offical agent of the car brad(mine is major moscow, thanks) which may do the repairement in fast and organized way in such necessary cases.

Monday, April 13, 2009

What to do in Moscow

As a tourist or foreigner coming to Moscow or Russia, you should have a to do list in mind. As living nearly three years in Moscow, from my experiences and likes i would advice you my to do list.

1. See Red Square, Kreml and St.Vasily's Cathedral : These places reflect the heart of Moscow, in which you can see in all TV news which tell about Moscow.

2. Walk in Arbat and Tverskaya Streets : These are the two most famous and touristic streets of Moscow, where you can find many restaurants, cafes and souveiner shops. Different then Russia, you can feel yourself in a European environment.

3. See Cathedrals And Churchs : I can offer you Novodevichy Monastary, Cathedral of Saviour.

4. See Museums :
Most famous museums are Pushkin Museum and Tretikovskaya Galeria.

5. See Moscow Clubs And Bars : Moscow is one of the best cities in the world in night life (maybe the best). You can find many clubs, bars on different preferences, luxury, with crowdy young people waiting in queues to enter these clubs. I can offer Club Fabrique, Club Opera, Most, Rai, Paris, Papa John's, Karma, B2, Hard Rock Cafe.

6. See And Make Walk in Parks
: Moscow is also famous with its parks. The famous and nice parks are; VDNH, Park Pabedi, Tsaritsano, Gorki Park, Kolomenskoe, Alexandrovski Sad.

7. See Vorabievy Gory and Moscow State University : This place located on high hills of Moscow has a nice view of Moscow.

8. See Striptease Club :
If you are man and would like to see how such places are, Moscow has many alternatives about it. Some of them are : Bordo, Safari, 911, Rasputin, Night Flight.

9. Go to Casino
: Moscow is also famous with its casinos. You can go and play with 100 dollars, where all drinks, alcohol and others are free inside. I can offer Casino Arbat, at new Arbat Street.

10. Go to Circus:
Russian circuses are also famous in the world. There is two big circuses in Moscow. You can easily buy tickets, which is not much expensive and see the 2 hour show.

11. Try Russian Food and Kitchen :
Famous Russian foods are borch soup, pelmeni, harcho soup, sashlik, salo, selyodka

12. Make a Boat Tour at Moscow River : These boat tours start near Kievskaya Metro station and boat travels nearly 2 hours on the Moscow River.

13. Eat Sushi :
If you are interested in sushi or have not tried it yet, Moscow is the right place to try it. There is plenty of alternative restaurants for sushi.

14. See Moscow Zoopark:
If you have enough time and the weather is nice, you can visit the Moscow zoo Park

15. Try Russian Sauna:
Sauna is traditional thing for Russians. In city you can find and rent a sauna room for a few hours. Hot room and after that cold water pool makes you feel stronger and relax.

16. See Moscow Metro:
Every station is designed differently and has own history. Specially the ones in the center are very nice.

17. Go to Balshoy Theater :
You can see opera, balet and plays there. You can feel the Russian culture better.

Of course everybody's likes changes and there are other things to do, but if you do and see these things i can say, you have done the best and most of the things in Moscow as a tourist ;)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Vladimir is one of the cities in golden ring of Russia, which is located nearly 200 kms east of Moscow. By a car trip from Moscow you can reach there in nearly 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic. It is famous with its old history, churches. A small city with one main street, one central square.

There is not much things to do in the city, but you can spend a nice weekend, by staying there one night. In the town after asking to people and searching i can advice you the places Dejve restaurant, Orion hotel; to see the main street, city center and churchs part, main shopping center.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Gus-Hrustalniy is a small city nearly 230 km far from Moscow, located in north-east part of Moscow, which can be reached with 3-4 hour trip by car. It is located near Gus river and famous with its crystal factory. The name of the city also means as 'crystal goose' in English. It is a very calm, not developed small Russian town. Mostly houses are small village houses or 5 floor Stalin type old Russian buildings.

People in the town are usually old Russians or people who preferred to have a calm, small village life. The economic situation of the town is not very well, which can be seen from the general view of the town. It is surrounded by huge Russia forests and have a nice nature.

Not a touristic city, but with its crystal factory and to buy special crystal presents can be given a small stop while travelling through, if its on your route.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sushi in Moscow

Sushi is one of the most popular foods in Moscow where you can find nearly every where: sushi restaurants, markets, shopping centers...The prices also are not expensive compared to Moscow standard prices of food. Usually these restaurants are set of restaurants located near different metro stations of Moscow.

As a person first time trying sushi in Moscow I didnt like it much at first time. But after going a few times you get to use and even like it. Now once a month I try to get to some sushi restaurant. In these restaurants, you can also find some chicken, meat, sea food as alternative. My favorites are california and tuna maki, green tea.

My preferences of sushi restaırants in Moscow in order are Tanuki, Yakitoria, Planeta Sushi, Yaposha Mama.

If you come to Moscow you should try sushi...

Tokat Restaurant - Moscow

One of the restaurants I was hearing for long time but hadn't been was Tokat Restaurant in Moscow. Some people were saying it was so good, others not a place to go at all. A few weeks ago I find the change to visit there with my friends. Compared to other Turkish restaurants in Moscow, it has a real feeling of a Turkish restaurant at side streets of Aksaray, Taksim; where nearly all clients are Turkish...In the restaurant Turkish league footbal mathes are shown from television. It is nearly full at match days. As a fan of Besiktas, I went to watch my team's match with Trabzonspor. But I was shocked to see that like %90 people watching the match was fans of Trabzonspor, even some of them with special Trabzonspor tshirts. I guess these people were mostly related with construction business who came form Trabzon.

The taste of food is similar to done in Turkey. Mercimek corbasi, adana kebap and coban salata were the most similar taste of Turkeys, comparing with other Turkish restaurants in Moscow. The prices are also cheap.

The atmosphere is man dominant and not nicely designed. The people coming there are mostly classical workers, middle business men in Moscow. You can hear slang words and Turkish style joking in the restaurant. Some days in restaurant they play live turkish music and songs.

It is located at metro Komsomolskaya, at the parallel street back of Kazanskiy Vakzal. Need to see sometimes for food and watching matches...