Moscow, Russia


Raketa. Stainless steel. Made in Russia. Oldest factory in Russia, founded near Saint Petersburg by HIM Tsar Peter the Great. Worn by Soviet astronauts, Stalin, and Putin. Automatic mechanical movement. 200m water resistant.

Purchased from an official store in Red Square.


Moscow has always been a place I wanted to visit, for I’m fond of the unique Russian architecture and the stories from history.

This is the seat of power, from Red Square looking at the Kremlin. Lenin’s body, which btw looked very fake and wax-like, is in the little pyramid building. You aren’t allowed to take photos or even stay to observe it. It’s only opened 10am-1pm and there’s always a long queue. Free.


The cathedral. I actually went in for my first orthodox mass. The service was relatively short, with everyone standing facing a gated part I assumed to be an “altar”. The priests often went into the door behind that area and went out with something. Lots of people walking around kissing pictures of saints on the wall while all of these were ongoing.

Then people put their arms on their chest in a cross and one by one walked to the priest to consume the body and blood of Messiah Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, the Son of Man, the Son of God. They all shared the same gigantic cup and long spoon. No touching of any kind, and they didn’t hold the fresh with their hands.

I was very tempted to go, but I thought perhaps they’d just kick me out for being a fraud.

There were some benches just outside the main hall, so I just sat there for a bit before walking into Kremlin.


On the way to the walls of the Kremlin complex (from the cathedral), I was greeted by a giant statue of St Vladimir Putin.

But in between, there was a broad avenue and it was difficult to figure out how to get to the walled city exactly.


On the left, there was this raised magnificent building. It was from the side of the road one could get to the library and eventually the tunnel to the gardens outside of the walls.


I don’t recommend going into the walled city of Kremlin at all – one of the biggest tourist traps I’ve been to.

First of all, there are many charges. To go into anything, there’s an additional charge. There’s a general charge which you need to ask the box office about, and it doesn’t really include anything.

Secondly, it was packed with tourists. The box office was rather chaotic and it took quite a bit of time entering it because all the tour groups just gathered there and the staff prioritize them (they would just shout at you in Russian if you’re not in a group). Then there’s a security check that further slows down the flow.

Moreover, it’s not that big. The buildings weren’t that impressive (and actually some could be seen from the outside) and the interiors weren’t anything special.


You can always pretend to be in a group and walk in with other people without paying though.


Where His Excellency President Putin works. Minimal guards.


Red Square.


The other side of the Square. This one’s a museum.


One of the most beautiful structures I’ve ever seen, and definitely the most unique one. I have always wanted to see this. It’s smaller but more colourful than the copy in Saint Petersburg.


The areas beyond the Square were nice too.


One of the parks outside downtown. This one has monuments from different parts of the Soviet Union.


Even though more than half of the park was under construction (including this one, actually), I still got to see some very beautiful ones.


As well as certain interesting ones like this one.


This park was next to the museum that has a rocket monument at the top.

One of the evenings, I went on a bike tour with my Couchsurfing host and we saw different lakes and parks and one building shaped as an astronaut.


Before I left Moscow, I went back to the Square to see Lenin and buy my watch.


The mall where I bought my watch.

I ate around the area, too. Some restaurants were really cheap. In general, Russia was pretty cheap.


The back of the church. Unfortunately it was closed when I went.

Personally, I preferred Moscow over St Petersburg, because Moscow had various styles of architecture and was uniquely Russian.

Peterhof, Russia


Peterhof/Petergof is another place that doesn’t get to keep a Russian name. It means Peter’s court in German/Dutch. Peter of course the same one who founded SPb.


Apparently the Tsar designed this to troll people.


There are multiple “palaces” in the complex. “Palace” because they are generally quite tiny.


Peterhof is most famous of its fountain system which basically runs itself. But apparently it may fail soon. This waterway leads all the way to the sea.


During the Second World War, when Hitler was driving into the Soviet Union, they tried moving as many treasures from here to the cathedral in SPb as possible. And buried some.

They recovered most of them except the most famous one in the middle of this. This isn’t the original one as a result.


There are many, many fountains all over.


No, it’s not Norway yet.


Free area in the upper garden. I took the railway then a bus to the upper garden – quite easy to do that actually. Then I walked down to the lower garden and took the ferry.


There were also numerous trick fountains and the children loved them.

St Petersburg, Russia


When I was planning my trip to the Russian Federation, a Russian friend asked me to skip altogether and go only to SPb.

Saint Petersburg is Mother Russia’ historic/winter capital and was founded by His Imperial Majesty The Tsar Peter the Great, Emperor of All Russias.


The most useful weapon against the Russian forces seem to be the smartphone.


There were loads of military boats parking on the main river. There’s a firework display every evening too.


SPb was Emperor Peter’s attempt to make Russia European, and it worked. The whole city, nicknamed Venice of the North (looked nothing like Venice btw), is full of European buildings. Although at the same time it lacks the Russianess Moscow very clearly has.


The Church of the Spilled Blood. Built where His Imperial Majesty Emperor Alexander II, the “Tsar-Liberator” was assassinated. He could’ve avoided death had he not insisted to check the damages after the first attack.

Why must all liberators die?

Alexander II freed the serfs and was killed.

His Excellency President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and was murdered.

Her Grace The Queen Daenerys, Breaker of Chains will probably be next.


The main square. So big it was quite difficult to take a good photo of it.


Rihanna’s fan club.


Copied from Greece.


The Sun basically never set. This was like 11pm or something.


The Winter Palace, where Her Imperial Majesty Empress Catherine the Great, first Tsarina then somehow Tsar of All Russias, built her hermitage gallery.


One interesting thing to note was that SPb was extremely touristy, and basically propped up by Chinese tourists. While people from China do need a visa to visit President Putin’s realm, tour agencies do it for them and so there are many, many buses of Chinese tourists everywhere.


One of the many canals. The reason why it’s called Venice of the North. But honestly the only other city that even remotely feels like Venice is Amsterdam.


They were selling these cups everywhere. And yes, it was a photo of shirtless Tsar Vladimir with His Excellency The President Donald Trump rising a bear.

I didn’t want to get too close cuz I didn’t know if the vendor would like that.


One has to wait until the Sun is in the right place to take a proper photograph.


I really like these Russian architecture, although it turned out the original in Moscow >>>.


The oldest part of the fortress.


The fortress complex has like a million museums, and signs in simplied Chinese.


Flying from Latvia to Putin’s heartland over the Baltic sea.


Naval building with soldiers basically casually hanging around.


The centre of the fortress. It’s got like five museums.


There was a military parade. I thought it was the Scottish flag at first but it was actually the colours reversed and in fact the Russian naval flag.




Cathedral. I stayed very close to it.

All the buildings were quite pretty, including the residential ones, but quite ugly inside (the residential blocks).


This palace was where an Oxford-educated prince, allegedly in collaboration with his Oxonian coursemate in the British intelligence field, murdered The Reverend Rasputin, The Mad Monk. Supposedly, they kept trying to kill him and just wouldn’t die.

The department store near here only had “push” and “pull” in English and Chinese.