July 2010 was nervous in Moscow. Hundreds of square kilometers of Russian greenfields and forests were burning around the capitol in uncontrolled way. And I had to be there in business trip.Temperatures in Moscow were amazingly high, reaching 39°C / 102°F, hazy weather and barely no wind. And this particular smell, as if the hell gateway has been slightly opened spreading fumes over. You could not feel the sulfur, tar however was noticeable. Official dispatch was like that: couple hours of exposure to the open air was equivalent of smoking 2 cigarets.
Despite the temperature and air contamination, my collegues and I managed to have a little sightseeing in the city center. It was my first time in Moscow, I had to see all the relicts of the system of our camrades from the East, brothers tigthly grasping shoulders of satelite countries like my homeland. The Red Square and Lenin mausoleum were a must, Kremlin would wait. Due to strict rules, taking pictures was not possible, cameras and cellphones had to be left in deposit box, and guards were too much nervous and suspicious to take a chance. This is still a place of inextinguishing cult. Anyway, just for your information, Lenin keeps OK being slightly bored by thousands of people staring at him every day.
I was surprised how european Moscow is. This capitol has strong resemblance to western metropolies, it is very modern in every way. In terms of prices Moscow is even more advanced. For instance comparable hotel standard in european city is 2-3 times cheaper or most insolent taxi triver requested not negotiable 1500 rubles (35 euro) for a ride 3 blocks away.
Neglecting money and health aspects it was hard work while joyfull time, another “must see” place ticked on checklist. I wish I had more time and camera other than cellphone.