Moscow, Russia, our second stop of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of the most polarizing places on this planet.
As an American, my knowledge of the capital city growing up was greatly skewed by news headlines and action movies.
I mean, this is where all the bad guys come from, right?
With that in mind, my primary goal here, on the second stop of our cross-country journey is simple – gain a first-hand perspective on what Moscow’s really like.
And to help make this happen, we link up with some of Yaro’s local friends and hit the streets.
With a better understanding of the landscape, it’s time to navigate through a ton of traditional Russian food for lunch.
We end up spending the better part of the afternoon in this little back room, just eating, drinking, and sharing stories.
And when we can’t stuff another dumpling down our gullets, we force ourselves back up onto our bikes and head down to the waterfront for sunset.
This morning’s service is a celebration of the Transfiguration of Jesus – a story told in the New Testament in which Jesus and three of his apostles got to the top of a mountain to pray and Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light.
The story goes on but one major importance of this event in christian teachings is that it signifies Jesus himself as the connecting point between heaven and earth.
After a few hours inside everyone emerges to commemorate the day with the Feast of the Transfiguration.
It starts with a procession around the entire campus and then people offer what’s called “First Fruits” or the first produce of their harvest to be blessed.
After the bishop makes his rounds with holy water, it’s time to feast.
We get a minute alone with the bishop and he blesses us and our journey ahead.
The dining hall is an incredible sight, and the food spread is equally as impressive.
we’re the only foreigners here, so we have a fun time interacting with the young curious worshipers around us and then put the camera away so we don’t get kicked out.
We finish our 48 hour stop in Moscow with a few drinks to celebrate Ruben’s birthday, and our first taste of true Russian vodka.
The next morning’s early train departure wasn’t easy, but I’m happy that my limited knowledge of Moscow (and Russia Travel) is now at least based on my own experience.