Day 6. Sokolniki Park, Moscow

We woke to more heavy overnight snow, creating a winter wonderland panorama from our 23rd floor bedroom window.  As it was our final day, we over-indulged with a large breakfast and then bid our farewells to the lovely restaurant staff who had looked after us all week.

Entrance to Sokolniki Park, Moscow
Entrance to Sokolniki Park, Moscow

After packing our belongings together we set off for a stroll through the local Sokolniki Park as we had only previously viewed it at night.  The ice rink was already crowded at 11.00 a.m. but as it was a Saturday, Muscovites were starting their weekend with some exercise and a spot of festive fun.

Sokolniki Park, Moscow
Morning stroll in Sokolniki Park

It was lovely walking through the fresh snow and enjoying the festive music from the park’s loudspeakers.  We wandered over to the fairground which was located at one side of the park and appeared to be quite old but still in working order.

Ice rink, Sokolniki Park, Moscow
Ice skating in Sokolniki Park, Moscow
Sokolniki Park, Moscow
Illuminated walkway in Sokolniki Park

The wood burning braziers were already lit so we warmed our hands on one of them for a final time before setting off back to the hotel, pausing to admire the Church of the Resurrection just outside the park gates, it’s onion shamed domes looking even more beautiful in the snow.

Sokolniki Park, Moscow
Brazier in Sokolniki Park

Back at the hotel, we made ourselves cups of tea before checking out of our room.  The Holiday Inn Sokolniki had exceeded expectations and being conveniently located opposite a metro station meant that we could move around the city with ease.

Church of the Resurrection, Sokolniki, Moscow
Church of the Resurrection, Sokolniki

Returning to the airport was quite easy and inexpensive.  We took the metro to Okhotny Ryad (near Red Square) and connected on foot via an underpass to its adjoining station Teatralnaya to take another train to its terminus at Domodedovskaya.  From there we heaved our suitcases up flights of steps in search of the airport bus.  As we had arrived by this route earlier in the week, we assumed that the bus would depart from the same stop where we had alighted.  We waited in the freezing cold for several minutes at the bus stop which had a large 308 and aircraft logo on its sign.  When the bus finally arrived and we tried to board, the driver waved his arms, closed the doors and drove off!  Thankfully, we had allowed plenty of time and eventually found the bus stop across the road opposite McDonalds.  I still don’t know why the original bus stop was numbered as there didn’t seem to be anything referring to ‘alighting only’.  Please remember that if you are planning on returning to Domodedovo airport by metro and bus that this service is not covered by the travel pass and you will need to pay 120 Roubles in cash.  As with the outbound journey, there was insufficient space for luggage and we had to leave our cases blocking the aisle at the rear of the bus.  The journey terminates at the airport, taking approximately 35 minutes along motorway type roads and makes speedy progress.

Domodedovo Airport, Moscow
Domodedovo Airport, Moscow

On entering the departure hall there was no queue at the British Airways desk but the conveyor belt had stopped working. Due to this following check-in, we had to take our luggage to another desk for them to be able to start their journey to the aircraft.  It was very quiet on a mid-December Saturday afternoon, with security deserted and hardly anyone waiting at immigration.  This gave us more time to relax before boarding our BA 787-900 Dreamliner which had more legroom and better amenities than the A321 we arrived on.

Domodedovo Airport, Moscow
Waiting at the gate for our flight to London Heathrow

A drinks trolley came round shortly after take off and I enjoyed a refreshing gin and tonic.  The snack served a little later was identical to the outbound flight, comprising a houmous and falafel wrap and a small bar of Toblerone with tea or coffee.  We them had a second alcoholic drink a little later during the four hour flight.  Catching up on more films, I watched Churchill which was very enjoyable and then started watching Hampstead but as I was quite sleepy, I didn’t actually see much of it.

Snack meal on board the BA flight from Moscow to London Heathrow
Snack meal on board the flight to London Heathrow

London didn’t feel much warmer than Moscow as we made our way to the nearby Feltham Travelodge.  Waking up the next morning, it was actually snowing and the English countryside resembled a winter wonderland as our train headed north – I think we must have brought the snowy conditions back with us from Russia!  We returned home safe and sound after an absolutely lovely 6 days in Moscow.

Modernist Christmas Tree in King's Cross Station, London
Modernist Christmas Tree in King’s Cross Station, London

I would definitely recommend a visit to the Russian capital, especially in December when the Christmas market is in full swing and the city is blanketed in snow.  We were able to gain entry to both the Kremlin and Lenin’s Mausoleum without queuing and apart from using the metro, it was never busy.

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow
St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow

In the first post of this series, I moaned about the exorbitant cost of Russian visas but the trip turned out to be well worth the cost and effort of obtaining one. We actually spent far less than expected, a week’s travel card costing £10, and entrance to the Kremlin £6.30.  Dining was also reasonable, even in the GUM department store and who could resist delicious sausages and mulled wine in Red Square at only £4 for both – we certainly couldn’t!  Let’s hope it’s not too long before we are able to make a return visit.

Snowman, Red Square, Moscow
Festive Decorations in Red Square

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also like:

Exploring Moscow

Moscow’s most beautiful metro stations


70 thoughts on “Day 6. Sokolniki Park, Moscow

  1. Good wrapup post Marion. Fitting that a winter city would give you a taste of winter just before you left. As to the airport buses, I am never sure whay these services do not go the extra mile and provide proper luggage storage, instead of simply plunking a city bus on the route. The return stop across the street from where you are dropped off seems to be pretty common in most cities. Glad you had a great trip. Stay well. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Day 3. Exploring Moscow – Love Travelling Blog

  3. Carnegie Travel Program

    Thank you for sharing! Our travelers enjoyed Moscow when they visited, and your post reminded us of the city’s charm. Lovely photography, and wonderful stories. We can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey miss traveller, I love your amazing photographs and your post too it provides a lots of information about that country n I love to read these post. I want to know from you that which is your most favorite country which you love to travel again again.😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind words about my posts. It would be very hard for me to select a favourite country as I have enjoyed all my travels for different reasons. Finland has to be one of my favourite destinations as it is a country I’ve visited often.


  5. What a great end to a great holiday! Glad all the fuss and expense with the visas paid off. A simply wonderful week for all of us who travelled with you. Thanks for sharing your adventures and the wonderful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thanks so much for your wonderful travel stories and photos from Moscow. It brought back for me some dear memories of being an older child/teen when my dad took a trip to Russia around Christmas time for his work, and I will always remember that season, thinking of him there in snow cold Russian and looking forward to his return. When he came back, he brought me a Russian doll, and I still have it. She’s beautiful and many children over the years have loved her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well worth that visa money Marion and similar to me with the incredible expense for the injections I required for Africa/Sth Africa – worth it!! And I love your photo of St Basil’s Cathedral…as I have mentioned to you before I really must get to Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are an amazing traveller. I’d find travelling with heavy suitcases pulling them up and down stairs quite off putting at my age. Been there done that in the past. while discovering new places and experiences is always delightful I found over the years almost living in an air plane or some other form of transportation it could be very tiring always meeting deadlines for appointments in different countries. Perhaps it would have been different if they were tours rather than stressful business. lol. Anyway I enjoyed your descriptions of the trip to Moscow.

    Liked by 1 person

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