201MC – Diary – Moscow

We arrived in Moscow lastnight at 9pm, and got to our hotel at 11pm. It was definitely far too late to go out and see what the city had to offer, and we were all so tired so it was straight to bed ready for a fresh start tomorrow.

Tuesday 29th April

Today, with my fellow photographers, Meg Fallowfield, Anna Roche and Rachael Bint, we headed to Red Square. Something I was really excited for! It would give me the chance to see what Moscow is most famous for, aswell as shooting pictures of St. Basil’s Cathedral for my project. Walking round Moscow, I think we felt a bit uncomfortable due to the fact we knew none of the language and we couldn’t understand how it was written either. Learning the basics was also difficult as it was hard to remember! The words are so long compared to ours! Red square was beautiful! The weather was so hot aswell, highs of about 18 degrees. Which was a good thing as I love the heat, however, due to the positioning of the sun, it was so hard to get a well exposed photo of the Cathedral. This was such a shame as it was difficult to show the colours and details of the architecture. Hoping to return before we go home so I can get a few more decent shots!

After here, we went to an underground shopping centre in Manezhnaya Square, right next to Red Square. One thing I noticed about this centre was how similar it was to British shopping centres, even with the same shops. We spent an hour or two here, before heading back to the hotel for a rest.

After a shot nap, we headed back out as I wanted to check out The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It was huge, and I am really pleased with my images from this. The sun was beginning to set whilst I was shooting which really helped. We then headed for dinner in an Italian restaurant, and then back to the hotel for an early night.

Wednesday 30th April

Today, all of us photography students headed out together to check out a well known street. Arbat Street, a kilometre long and is very well known in Moscow. Full of street acts, souvenier shops, restaurants and shops. It was good to just walk around and see what else Moscow had to offer.  We stopped for lunch in My-My. It was a very different restaurant to any kind we have in the UK, and with speaking no Russian, it was a bit of a challenge but such a good experience.
Once we had finished in Arbat Street, we walked about another 2 miles just around the area seeing what else we could see of interest. We headed to Yeliseyevsky Market, which was a huge supermarket. This was like no other supermarket any of us had ever seen. It looked more like a museum. With architecture that must have taken hours to detail! High ceilings, marble pillars and sculptures, this was definitely something we hadn’t seen before, for a supermarket.
We then headed back to the hotel to chill for the evening and I sorted through some of the imagery that I had shot already.

 

Thursday 1st May

Today, we agreed to go Church/Cathedral hunting for me so that I could complete my project. However, it was harder than I thought. Even though I had my plan, some of the churches were not how I thought they would be, and it took much longer to find them. We began by heading up the New Arbat Avenue. One of the most modern streets I had seen in Moscow yet. On this road I photographed the Simeon Church. It’s green domes and white walls really caught my eye. I shot on both Digital and the Mamiya 7. We continued to walk to the top of New Arbat Avenue. Saw The Mercury City Tower, the tallest building in Europe, yet it didn’t look that big. Maybe we weren’t quite close enough! We then headed back down New Arbat Avenue and checked out a couple of the small department stores on that street. They were so similar to UK ones, with the same brands and kind of layouts, however, the decor and vibrancy of the stores were incredible. One in particular, Becha. We then headed back to the hotel to chill for a bit. At about 11pm, me and Anna headed out to The Red Square to take some nighttime photography. I knew we we wouldn’t get the chance again to see St.Basil’s Cathedral all lit up so I was really looking forward to shooting and was pleased with the outcome.

Friday 2nd May

Today was our last full day in Moscow, and we didn’t want to waste any time. We set an alarm nice and early and headed to Arbat Street Metro station to ride the much hyped Metro of Moscow. I was really looking forward to this, after looking at photos and hearing all about the incredible architecture of the stations, I had a brief idea of what to expect. However, my expectations weren’t as high as some of the stations we saw. With marble pillars, huge statues, stained glass windows and ceiling decor, it felt like I was in more of a museum. I was really pleased with some of the imagery I got from these. After a few hours of riding the metro, we met the rest of the group in Red Square at 5pm for a group photo. (see below)
Since it was our last night, and also Meg’s Birthday, we decided to spend our last night going out for a meal and some drinks to celebrate both Meg’s birthday and the hard work we had all done. We had thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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