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  • Writer's pictureJohan Visschedijk

Meeting in Moscow

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Did I ever tell how my story started in Moscow and how I fell in love with these people? NO???

Let’s go back to 2009 when an advertising agency in Moscow, Ogilvy and Matter, called my agent Frans Kuypers. They wanted me to visualize petrol stations in and around Moscow. The client? Gazprom. At that time they had only one station and we had to create them in cgi, a for that time pretty cool job as you may understand. Like Russian advertising standerd they put me and my assistant in one of the most expensive hotels in town, the Golden Apple. Every night we slept there for 4 hours and the rest of the day we where on the road together with our private driver. With a daily traffic jam of 1700 kilometers you spent most of the day standing still. But in 3 weeks we shot all the images needed and flew back to Amsterdam. Job done.

Above one of the results. Also the road and the fly-over is cgi.

Another result of this trip was that I fell in love with a Russian woman and with the whole Sovjet culture. Straight away loved Moscow and this love never disappeared. Unfortunately the love for my Russian “dewyschka” ended after 3 years and in 2016 I found my true love, again and where else, in Moscow. Lina.

From that moment in 2016 until the day of the day I am traveling a wonderful journey, playing the main character in my own movie. With these “glasses” I see Moscow, a city which is 24/7 alive and kicking, in all its beauty and expression. Have you ever seen some metro stations in Moscow? One could make a book only talking about them. Of course you will see the most beautiful ones exposed in our dacha book. The ceilings are really stunning, many details and small statues too.

Yes Moscow is a wonderful city under the ground too but once you are above the ground it will not disappoint you either.

Driving towards the centre we passed Moscow City where all the hot shots have their offices. This part of the city is growing and within a decade it could be little New York. For me the real Moscow is much more then a handful new buildings. Moscow from one end to the other is like 45 kilometers and they say there are living 20 million people here. Not officially of course because a lot of people are not registered.

Their churches are all build with an amazing grace and have many different, interesting icons to show. You can visit them any time you want. Most of them have been cleaned up the last decade so they look shiny and new born. On a cloudy day as today the golden roof makes a nice contrast with the sky.

Theater life is something big in Moscow. With over 200 theaters in the city we can say that Russians love theatre and culture. It is for them especially difficult during Covid-19 that they can't go out to their beloved theatre's. No ballet in the Bolchoi theatre and no modern plays in Gogol Centre. Pretty disappointing indeed. Above a picture where we are in the atrium of the Vakhtangov theatre. I think it has been a more then a year ago.

Also in the open air there are many great performances. In the VDNH there are activities almost every night during the summer. Small activities like solo artist but also great bands perform here just for free and everybody enjoys it. Especially we!! Back in 2017 we dropped into this rock band ;-).

We hope that Covid will soon come to an end and that we and all the people living in Moscow can enjoy all these nice things again.

In the next episode of my blog I will tell you more about my plan running from Amsterdam to Moscow next year. More then 26.000 kilometers traveling by feet without planning any hotels. Stay tuned!!

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