Good old ‘Lonely Planet’ pointed me in the direction of this most unique of markets. I was looking through the top 10 things to do in Moscow. I have now done most of them, so it was now down to visiting this Market or having a man hit me with birch branches called a ‘Banya’ at Sundry Baths.
I chose this safe option, even though it did mean venturing back on the metro. Saturdays are a lot quieter and this time I had it sorted and it was much more like travelling the London Underground. One very important difference which helped my ‘wombling’ underground was that the same station on different lines had different names.
What is the same is the kindness of people giving up their seats for the elderly, I saw this time and time again today. It helps me confirm that kindness is truly universal.
Two stops, a change of line and 3 stops and I was there. I really expected to see the colourful structure as I left the Metro station, however this was not the case, so I took a punt and turned right and discovered a nice park with a pond. I asked a lady selling balloons where Izmaylovsky Market was by pointing at a picture of it in my copy of the Lonely Planet. She pointed back the other way. I should have turned left, it is obvious really seeing as I am in Russia!
The market is a mix of flee market, souvenir store, theme park and tourist attraction. Either way I am please I visited it because of the experience. The lonely Planet describes it as:
It’s a fine line between shopping and fun at the Kremlin in Izmailovo. Cross the foot bridge and walk through the tent-roof gate to enter a Disney-like medieval village, complete with wooden church, white washed walls and plenty of souvenir shops. Just as in times of yore, the best shopping is in trade rows outside the kremlin walls. Wander among the stalls of the sprawling market to find an endless array of traditional handicrafts, as well as art and antiques, Central Asian carpets, Soviet paraphernalia and more.
That pretty much sums it up! A much better choice that being whacked with branches!