Moscow Russia

WTF, I’m in Moscow

What the F*@#k ! I am in Moscow.  These were my words when I slowly walked up and entered into the Red Square.  There are some moments in life when you just want to take in all that your senses are telling you. This was one of those moments for me.

Russia is the first foreign country I visited and just for that it will always have a special place in my heart. As I made my way to a clear view of the Red Square, I was left in awe. The St. Basil’s Cathedral in front of me, the G.U.M market to the left and Putin’s lovely home to the right, the Kremlin. I sucked up some air and walked slowly on the cobbled road, mesmerised. This was the centre of the former USSR. Wow.

Moscow is gorgeous, huge and a bustling city. I fell in love it completely. The Moscow metro network drove me nuts, the architecture left me with a gaping mouth and of course, the sports car and bikes made me believe that Moscow was the best place in this world. This would be the place where people work hard, earn money and spend it on a life style that’s grand.

Of course, there other sides to Moscow but I was lucky enough to have been completely ignorant about them.  If you happen to visit here are the five places CANNOT miss in Moscow.

Red Square & Kremlin

Red Square Moscow Russia
This is the centre piece of Russia. You simply cannot afford to miss this one if you are in Moscow. It’s something like going to Agra and not seeing the Taj Mahal. It’s a great place to take in the fact that you have arrived in Russia and also the place where you can come at close range to the burial grounds of the former USSR Presidents. This place is sure to move you.

Bolshoi Theatre
Opened to public in 1825, the marvellous building has some of the plushest interiors you can ever see. The grand balconies give you the ultimate theatre feel. While backpacking on a budget, I highly recommend saving up for this experience.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Moscow Russia

When I entered this Cathedral, I was spelled bound by the detailed frescos and the dome. The environment is surreal and the devotion worth admiring. I spent a lot f time just walking around watching pious Orthodox Christians placing candle in front of pictures of Virgin Mary. It was a moving experience!

Gorky Park
Does ‘Winds of Change’ by the Scorpions strike a chord? Yup, they were talking about this very park. It’s an interesting space in the city and I’d say you could afford to visit this place as it’s very cheap.

Pushkin Museum
Designed by Roman Klein and Vladimir Shukhov and financed primarily by Yury Nechaev-Maltsov this museum doesn’t have any direct co-relation with Alexander Pushkin the Russian Author. Opened to public in 1912, the museum houses some of the best fine art collections in Russia.

I really enjoyed Moscow but, my journey didn’t end there. I was going to Kazan next.

Tempe Arizona

Travel Tips for Tempe Arizona

Hello! I am Vaibhav and I moved to Tempe for studies and it has been awesome staying here. It has warm climatic conditions round the year although the summer can get pretty hot! The people are very friendly and this city has one of the places with the most exciting and happening night life.

The city of Tempe also known as Hayden’s Ferry during the territorial times of Arizona is a university-city. Named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece the city is home to over hundred thousand people.  Tempe is home to the largest campus of Arizona State University and it also has great performance venues like the Gammage Auditorium and the Tempe Centre for the Arts.

The cool thing about this city during New Year’s Eve is that it hosts the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. It’s officially one of the largest New Year’s Eve  parties!

Tempe Arizona Town Lake

Here are my 5 tips for Tempe Arizona:

1) Great Restaurants

Try House of Tricks, Piya Jungle and Chompie’s

2) Good Pubs and Discotheques

Try Monsoon Brewery, Sleepy Dog Brewery and Four Peaks Brewing Company

3) Pleasant Climate

The city has pleasant climate throughout the year.

4) Good food-both veggie and non veggie

As a vegetarian, I found a lot of good places to eat. It’s a green light for many of the fussy eaters.

5) Lots of places for hikes/camping

You could try out some easy hikes like the South Pima Canyon Road or the South Mountain National Park’s Mormon Loop Trail. There’s a hike for every level of expertise. I suggest using this link for www.tempe.gov/parks for more info.

How to approach the city:

This is a Party Town to the core. So enjoy to the fullest but don’t break any rules 🙂 There are lots of other places to visit like museums, theatres, restaurants, etc to enjoy with family too!

travel tips auckland

Travel Tips for Auckland, New Zealand by Parvathy Pillai

Parvati and I were from the same college and it’s really awesome of her to have contributed to my blog. Since moving to Auckland, NZ she obviously had a great opportunity to travel this beautiful city.  Auckland has been on my travel bucket list for a while now, especially after seeing the stunning vistas seen during the India vs. New Zealand cricket matches. Here’s Parvati’s take on Auckland:

I recently migrated to The Land Of The Long White Cloud, NZ, to live with my husband & we have set up our home in Auckland. I love this place for its serenity & culture.

My ‘MUST VISIT’ places:

Sky Tower, Auckland

This is an observation and telecommunication tower. The view from the top is absolutely stunning and it provides a beautiful perspective to the city of Auckland.

Waiheke Island

It’s a BEAUTIFUL island in the gulf. It has some truly spectacular vineyards! What’s even cooler is that its 35 mins from Auckland.

Rotorua

If you’ve never seen geysers, boiling mud and thermal wonders of nature then visiting Rotorua is a must.

Tongariro

New Zealand’s northern island has three active volcanoes and Tongariro is one of them. It’s over 6000 ft. in height and offers some of the most stunning views in all of New Zealand.

Piha

The Piha beach is an excellent day trip idea from Auckland. The beach is absolutely stunning and it’s a surfer’s paradise. It’s highly recommended for the surfers.

Matamata:

Does Matamata strike a chord? This remote village was used for the filming of J.R.R. Tolkein’s famous trilogy ‘Lord of the Rings

Bonus Tip:

Visit preferably during the months of August Sept Oct Nov

How to approach this city:

Kiwis are the friendliest of people, so you can make heaps of friends here.The city is quite expensive, so budget travelling is a very hard thing to do. Carry as much currency as you can.

Plan a good trip, because New Zealand is a big place with lots of islands, beaches and mountains.