Accidental Spy Series, action adventure, Author Lada Ray, Gold Train, Jade Snow Russia Adventure, Moscow, Moscow Metro, mystery thriller, New York City, Russian culture, Russian Metro, Saint Petersburg Metro, Soviet art, Soviet Union, St Petersburg
Above: Komsomolskaya Metro Station, Moscow
If you are used to the gloomy, dungeon-like New York Subway (sorry, dear New Yorkers,) as I am, absolutely nothing can prepare you for the gorgeous Russian Metro! Don’t get me wrong – I love New York, and it is my second home, but the City’s unbelievably ugly and outdated subway is a different story all together.
When I complain about it, my husband – a consummate New Yorker – just shrugs his shoulders: “It gets you from point A to point B!”
Yeah, right… Point A to point B. But what about beauty? Style? Aesthetics?
Well, in all truth, even if you come from Paris, London, or Vienna, with their much nicer underground transportation systems, you’ll still be amazed at the Russian Metro!
One of Moscow’s most popular tours is “A Day in the Moscow Metro.” I am not kidding! They actually take you on a day-long tour to ride from station to station, during which time they tell you all about the history and art featured in each. And the day, spent doing that, is likely to become one of the major highlights of your Russian trip!
Can you imagine doing something like this in New York? Ouch! Not a chance! The best I can do, if I have absolutely no choice but to take subway, is to try and get in and out as soon as possible. And I’d gladly ride it with my eyes closed, if it wasn’t too risky to walk up and down the stairs without looking.
In GOLD TRAIN, Jade Snow also samples the sumptuous Moscow Metro on the day of her arrival. But it is the St. Petersburg Metro that has special significance in the book.
Without further ado, presenting The Magnificent Russian Metro!
Moscow Metro (Moskovsky Metropoliten) first opened in 1935. It is the second busiest metro system in the world after Tokyo’s Twin Cities subway. Length, 305 kilometers, 185 stations. Moscow Metro carries 7 million people per day!
Are you listening, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York Mayor and City Council?! Not only they get 7 million people from point A to point B each and every day, but also do it on time, in style and much more affordably, than New Yorkers could ever dream of! How do they do it? And why can’t you?
Above: Arbatskaya Metro Station, Moscow. As on this picture, tourists happily snap pictures of beautiful statures, chandeliers, frescoes and paintings.
Above: Kievskaya Metro Station, Moscow. One of the original stations, built in the 1930s. As in this mosaic, exquisitely performed Soviet art dominates some of the historic stations.
One of the absolutely amazing facts about the Russian Metro is that during WWII, it doubled as a giant bomb shelter – by far the most luxurious, comfortable and spacious bomb shelter in the world.
Above: Another historic Moscow Metro Station, complete with beautiful marble paneling and bronze statues. Take a look on the right! See the famous statue of the “good luck dog?” Notice his nose? It’s almost white. That’s because everyone who passes by this dog, rubs his nose for good luck.
More magnificent classic stations:
Below: several newer Moscow Metro Stations.
Below: One of the Museum Metro cars, complete with art decking its walls. No cattle car here!
And now, the beautiful St. Petersburg Metro!
Rivaling Moscow Metro in its splendor, and mainly built in the 1950s, it’s the 5th busiest metro system in the world. In addition, it is also the deepest underground system in the world, with some stations placed well beneath the Neva River bed.
Above: Pushkinskaya Station, St. Petersburg. Monument to the Russian writer, Alexander Pushkin.
Above and below: more palacial St. Petersburg Metro Stations.
One of GOLD TRAIN’s most dramatic and crucial episodes takes place at Sportivnaya Station. “Sportivnaya” translates as “Sports,” and the theme is that of the Ancient Greek Olympic Games.
I chose Sportivnaya Station for a reason. I don’t want to give away the plot for those, who haven’t read the book yet, so I’ll just remind everyone that Ancient Greece is considered the cradle of democracy and that all wars stopped during the Greek Olympic Games. Both of these facts have special significance, as those, who read the book, would recognize.
Below: Sportivnaya Station with its Ancient Greek theme.
More images of Sportivnaya Station.
One of the St. Petersburg Metro entrances, much like in the dramatic GOLD TRAIN episode.
GOLD TRAIN paperback is coming on April 25, 2012. More: http://ladaray.wordpress.com/blog-tours/
For descriptions/excerpts/trailers from GOLD TRAIN and other Lada Ray’s books: LadaRay.com
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Till next time,