jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016

Moscow on the move

Choosing the right speed for exploring Moscow is vital, as this Euronews report explains.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and answer the questions below.

1 What is the other name tube stations are known for in Moscow?
2 Why do people pat the dog's nose at Revolution Square?
3 Which two categories does Aleksis divide travellers into?
4 How far is the bike ride to see the avant-garde architecture?
5 How far off the ground are the passengers sitting on a double-decker bus?
6 How old is Moscow's tram?
7 Why is the river a key element in the city?

Choosing the right speed for exploring Moscow is vital because according to architects, the city is best seen on the move.
The underground is the fastest way to get around but take your time because tube stations here are often like palaces, or art museums. Sometimes people even call them time machines.
Let's take the Mayakovskaya station, for example. Here we see portrayals of the days of Soviet people who will soar into the sky in the future, because life will be wonderful. At Revolution Square station you see the 20 first years of Soviet history. First, you see the heroes of the revolution and then the heroes of the Civil War.
At Revolution Square people also pat this dog's nose for luck.
At first, people thought that patting the dog's nose before an exam would help you pass. This belief just expanded. Today people think it will bring you money and other things.
Aleksis thinks that a scooter is lucky. The founder of the "Arts and Culture Project" enjoys exploring the new pedestrian zones which have recently been constructed in the city centre. Aleksis has his own philosophy for exploring Moscow, and he divides travellers into two groups: the "birds", who just fly around; and the "mandarins", who do not get out of the bus.
They see the iconic buildings but not the details. I try to reach another level when I talk to tourists about the city and its history, paying special attention to those details.
To see the hidden treasures of Moscow's avant-garde architecture, Aleksis and his group have chosen another means of transport, the bicycle. But you have to be in good shape for this excursion, because it's a 30 kilometre bike ride.
Now, everyone can use a bicycle to get around Moscow. The long-awaited public rent-a-bike service has opened. And for now there are several dozen stations, but more will be built soon.
Another novelty is the double-decker sightseeing buses that have finally appeared on Moscow streets. They are not only popular with tourists but also with native Muscovites who enjoy seeing their city from a new perspective.
Three and a half metres might not seem far off the ground but you can see the facades of the so-called Old Moscow. They are unique and even magical.
And then there are the trams which give a flavour of Old Moscow, a city full of charm which inspired writers to describe the trams in their books. Moscow ethnographer Natalia Leonova created a tour on a real tram route that has existed since she was a child.
The tram is the oldest form of transport in Moscow. Just imagine, it's 114 years old. That is why it allows us to go back in time and travel around the distant parts of Moscow, uniting districts which used to be the far-flung outskirts.
But some people say that the best way to see Moscow is from a boat. The Moscow River, like all rivers in capital cities, has played a very large role in the past. And that's why the major historical buildings were constructed on its banks.
The river is a uniting element. It unites not only the city itself, but also the perception of a man who is looking at the city from the river. At the same time, the perception from the very low angles is always better and more interesting. This is why I put the boats in the first place on the list of transport for tourists.
Architects also suggest combining all the different angles to create a unique picture of Moscow that you will remember like a good film.

1 time machines
2 for luck 
3 the "birds", who just fly around; and the "mandarins", who do not get out of the bus.
4 thirty kilometres 
5 three and half metres
6 one hundred and fourteen years
7 it is a uniting element