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How to prepare for Russia

New York City
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How to prepare for Russia

Several suggestions to help you enjoy your trip: When you arrive, you'll be VERY happy to have someone meet you. I used youarewelcome.su (NOTE the SU at the end, NOT RU!) and they were wonderful. I got a text message while I was going through customs telling me the driver was waiting for me; he helped me get some money from the cash machine; and when I went back to the airport, I emailed them and they actually arranged for an inexpensive but reliable taxi cab service to pick me up. Other prep suggestions: 1. Read Robt Massie's Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and if you have time Nicholas and Alexandra, Russia. Also A Concise History by Ronald Hingley and Suzanne Massie's Land of the Firebird (last two are out of print but you can get on Amazon or Abe's Books second hand) 2. Go to YOUTUBE and take a few "Russian World Lesson"s, which are fantastic. The first 6 teach you the Cyrillic alphabet, along with some impt words (you can skip over the cursive writing sections). Believe me, you won't be sorry you learned it. I wrote the letters, sounds and words I learned at each lesson and took them with me to refer to. You'll be amazed what you'll remember -- and how much fun it is to sound out the words in cyrillic when you get to Russia. NOTE that most people do NOT speak English -- so it's quite impt to learn a very few of the essential ones: The most impt words you should know are: Where is (Ga-DEE-ya); Here (z-DYES) and there (Tahm) (helpful when you're in a subway stop and not sure of which station you're at, or when you want to get out at a particular street); Exit (VWEE-chut) and entrance (v-CHUT) (The CH sounds like the Jewish CHAI, not like the English Church). Also use YouTube for documentaries on Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky and lots of other people/history you're interested in. A great way to learn Russia's background. The subways are a snap, esp if you can pick out the cyrillic letters. The green and brown lines have lots of great stops; the blue line has a couple worth checking out. All you have to do is get on at any station on either line and just go from stop to stop, getting off to check it out and the on to the next. Trains come every 2-3 minutes, even at nite, so it's very fast. If you get some info from TA on the lines, take the info with you and just read it as you go. The subways have signs in the middle of the platform and on both sides telling you which direction they're going in (the right side of the sign shows you the stops/direction of the trains to the right, and the left side tells you the direction/stops to your left. They're also on the wall on each side. That's why knowing the alphabet is so helpful -- you'll never feel lost. You can prob do all the stations on each line in 1-1.5 hours max, so it's a great thing to do at nite or during your free time.

Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: How to prepare for Russia

About your subway comment. No contest that a brown (ring) line has lots of beautiful stations, in fact almost every single one of them is gorgeous, including Taganskaya a single most beautiful stop of the tube for my taste. However how can you be so cruel to the blue line saying it's only couple of stops? Kievskaya, Ploshad Revolutsii, Arbatskaya, Electrozavodskaya are all masterpieces. I would also add Semenovskaya (former Stalinskaya) to this list, the only stop that among other things features a double row of columns. That's 5 already. Slavyansky Bulvar, Baumanskaya and Partizanskaya are also quite worth stopping by. Green line has it's own masterpices too no doubt but they are fewer and to me personally only Novokuznetskaya matches the beauty of those 5 blue line stations I listed.

Please don't take it as if I'm picking on you, I'm not.

Moscow, Russia
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2. Re: How to prepare for Russia

Also just so nobody is confused - the tube is closed from 01:00 to 05:30 AM. Consider this if you want to do a night stroll so that you won't find yourself at 01:00 AM stranded on the outskirts of Moscow.

Brussels, Belgium
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3. Re: How to prepare for Russia

on my list to visit in May (please add if I should miss any):

- Partizanskaya

- Semjonovskaya

- Elektrazavodskaja

- Baumanskaya (former Stalinskaya)

- Plochad Revolutsii

- Kievskaya

- Paveltskaya (I imagine this is where I would have to stop if I want to see Lenin's funeral train)

- Komsomolskaya

- Prospekt Mira

- Hovoslobodskaya

- ... (?)

New York
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for Moscow
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4. Re: How to prepare for Russia

Most peops did take English, it's just they have had no experience w actual accents as they are being spoken - down south, down home, down under etc.

Moscow, Russia
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5. Re: How to prepare for Russia

Well it depends on how much time you have, but I would definitely add

Taganskaya (ring line)

Belorusskaya (ring line)

Arbatskaya

Novokuznetskaya

Vorobyevy Gori

Also it's Semyonovskaya which is former Stalinskaya, not Baumanskaya. When you're on Partizanskaya make sure to proceed to the stairs at the end of the platform - this is where it's noteworthiness is located. Also while you're there I suggest checking out Ismaylovskaya - the platform is nothing to see in itself however it's one of the view entirely open platforms and it's located inside/at the opening of a park zone - an Ismaylovski Park, so you feel as if you're delivered straight into the park.

Prior to your post I knew nothing about Lenin funeral train but you're correct - it's inside the russian railway museum located near the Paveletski Rail Terminal.

Brussels, Belgium
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6. Re: How to prepare for Russia

thank you. Actually I'm very familiar with Partizanskaya as I have stayed there 3 times before (Izmailovo Vega). This time by I will be closer to the centre though :)

Moscow
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7. Re: How to prepare for Russia

There are some highly unusual "attractions" to be found at even some of the lesser known Moscow metro stations.

The recently opened Dostoyevskaya (named after the literary classic), for example, features depictions of… at least four homicides and two suicides from his novels.

…ggpht.com/__bkVQ1Q-NAs/…IMG_3779.JPG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2rH5xi8QPQ

Moscow
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8. Re: How to prepare for Russia

Tobias S

Mayakovskaya should also definitely be added, both for beauty and history.

Moscow, Russia
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9. Re: How to prepare for Russia

If you stayed at the Izmaylovo Vega you must have seen an 'Izmaylovo Kremlin'. Even though I'm lifelong Moscow resident I only been there for the first time this winter. Looks beautiful on the pictures yet kinda cheaply built then I got there close up, plus a lot of migrant workers reside on the premises, hanging their laundery and stuff ). Still I liked it, was impressed with the wooden church they got there

…wikimedia.org/wiki/…

P.S. About Kievskaya stop - there are three of those. Ring and Blue ones are equally beautiful, Light Blue one is not so much, like all the rest stops on this line.

Brussels, Belgium
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10. Re: How to prepare for Russia

thanks! going with a vid cam for the first time ever. Would this be a problem? I know you are not supposed to take photos in the metro, but know they don't care as much in Moscow as in Petersburg.