I have been sitting in front of my computer all week long and pushed some long hours. The weekend has arrived and finally I have been able to get some relaxation from work. We went out to explore some of the little woods near the Moscow University. You can find many little paths and ways through the small wild forests between Akademika Hohlova and Universitetskij Prospekt.

Within the forests there are little fields where you can take some sun, play soccer or badminton. These are also nice for picnics. You won’t be alone, but it’s also not very crowded, because the Moscovites leave town for their dachas on the weekend or if they stay they do other city like activities. It’s also a nice place to take a romantic walk with your date. Wild lilac is blooming and smelling so good along the walking paths. Birds sing loud to cover up for the city noise, which still makes a background sound in this green island. Indeed, it’s not central park in New York, but still worth a visit.

A grass field inside of the woods near the Moscow University. You can see the top of the University looking out behind the trees.

After walking across the park, enjoying the nature just in the middle of Moscow, we went to look for a coffee place where we can sit outside, have latte and do the people watch we like so much. We parked our car in some side street of Arbat and walked around for a while. Arbat is pretty packed on weekends. Its a typical tourist, but also Moscovite, attraction for the weekend. Here you can find all kinds of (Soviet) souvenirs, overpriced cafes and restaurants, along with street artists. If you decide to visit Arbat, be aware of thieves and other scam artists. As a tourist, also try to stay away from any Militia (Police), together with the local taxi drivers they are just looking for an opportunity to rip you off . Her some stuff to look out for…. Police: Something is wrong with your papers. Come with us or pay, putting increasing pressure and stress on you. Or, You don’t have your hotel key with you? Come with us or pay. Taxi drivers like to drive you to places nearby (such as your hotel) and charge you 1000 Rubels ($33) instead of the usual 150 Rbl ($5) or 200 Rbl ($7).

A walk on Arbat

The area between Kropotkinskaya and Arbat is known as on of the most exclusive and nicest living areas in the centre. It’s also very well known for its particular architecture. A walk around this little “pereuloks” reminds me often about Paris or Berlin. It used to be just a normal neighborhood of Moscow, but developed fast to be one of the exclusive parts of the city after perestroika. You’ll also find many embassies in this area, due to the local Foreign Ministry, which is one of the “seven sisters” the Stalin type skyscrapers called “Vysotko” by the Muscovites.

Another nice street near Arbat. To find them, just turn left or right into some little streets from Arbat.

If you are in the area, see if you can catch a free table at the beautiful cafe Gogol-Mogol (6 Gagarinsky Per.). Its one of the rare few places in Moscow, where you can sit outside and enjoy our cafe along with some good pastry in some quiet and nice environment.

Cafe Gogol-Mogol
6 Gagarinsky Per. (M. Kropotkinskaya)

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