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Metro as art gallery 地下鉄は美術館みたい

September 5, 2010

I figured that the metro stations deserved their own post because they are quite incredible.  My only regret is that I didn’t take more pictures.  Another of Stalin’s projects, the first line opened in 1935 and today, behind the Tokyo subway, Moscow’s system is the world’s second most ridden system with a daily average of about 7 million riders.  The stations are quite amazing in their design and decoration.  They’re also amazingly clean and devoid of graffiti.    If you want to take photos, it’s recommended you ask the babushky sitting in the booths at the bottom of the escalators (though there is a good chance they’ll ignore you completely) in order to avoid the chance of being arrested for photographing in a ‘sensitive area’.


The metro system itself is a bit of a paradox.  Their ticketing system is very modern.  Moscow was actually the first metro system in Europe to implement the non-contact smart card fare system.  The trains themselves, while great in a nostalgic way, are anything but modern.  They are great, rumbling, Soviet era beasts that do actually have charm going for them just not air-conditioning.  Not a great thing in a temperature record-breaking summer.  At least the lines are quite easy to navigate once you get the cyrillic character recognition down pat.


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