Hello friends welcome to Russia: Tips, Tricks & Travel. As always it’s your buddy Tim Kirby, and today we are in one of the most expensive cities in the world, the best place to celebrate New Year’s and my second hometown – Moscow. Unfortunately the budget period for this year is kind of running out so we’re going to celebrate New Year’s here a little but on the cheap, but hopefully, we’ll show you some really cool things to do in this lovely city. Well in America for Christmas we have Santa Claus and Russians have for New Year’s Ded Moroz, and this around me is his village. Yes, the village of Ded Moroz, you know one thing, my kids love it here, and hopefully you’ll like it too. So let’s take a look around and see what they have. Happy New Year’s by the way. Alright here we are guys in Ded Moroz’s personal post office… oh hey… you stop that… in Ded Moroz’s personal post office. As you can see, hundreds of thousands if not millions of kids from all across the former Soviet Union write him letters. And we’re going write him a letter so that our wish can come true. Our wish that we’ll have a bigger budget for this video. Greetings! Hello! Can I get a blank letter to write to Ded Moroz with? Sure thing here is the letter and here is a pen for you. Oh thanks! Alright, Ded Moroz… Friends we have the unique opportunity to speak to the man himself Ded Moroz and his granddaughter Snegurochka and maybe he’ll grant our wish we’ll see… Greetings, Ded Moroz and Snegurochka! Greetings, Greetings,my dear young man! What brings you here? We have come to hand you this letter, who knows our dreams could come true! Dreams? Yes Our audience has a question for you. There is a man whom you surely know. They call him Santa Claus. Do you consider him a friend, a competitor/opponent or an evil villain? No no no! Snegurochka and I have been friends with this wonderful persona for many years. Good. Santa, for me he is like a little brother I’m 2000 years old, he’s a smidge younger and of course my dearest granddaughter is younger than he. Thank you so much and see you soon… by soon I mean next year! Merry Christmas Well friends that’s it from Ded… uh… hold on. I’ve got a message here. Someone ordered me a taxi, I wonder who. Maybe it’s “Ded Moroz answering my wishes”. Uh, whatever, but. Woah… now that is a taxi. Well guys let’s go see the city in style! Alright, Rudolph let’s do it. Wow I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised that writing to Ded Moroz actually worked. Until the stroke of midnight our budget is unlimited! This is way better than writing to Santa he never gave me that Super Nintendo I wanted. Cheap skate! Anyways I’ve always wanted to try one great winter sport that is becoming popular in Moscow but never really had the time or money. Well now I do! Hello there Yes, good day to you. I have come to tryout the most gentlemanly sport of them all – curling. Sure, give it a go. Well, where do we start? I need your shoe size. 45-46 We are all set. We have some sort of plastic slipper, one knee pad and a vest. This is already proving to be a very interesting and unique sport. Alright, let’s get going. Greetings! Hello! Tim Vadim So Vadim, in order to play this wonderful sport of curling what do I need to do? To start you need to pick out a broom. sure. Next put on your slider. Put it on your left foot. The left one, okay, one sec. Ready. Now I see why it is called a “slider”. Well that stone looks awful big how can we throw it down there? This is all very simple You put your right leg on this panel, crouch down, take the broom and put it up to your left should, this is for stability and balance, so you don’t fall over. With your right hand you take the stone, lift your left leg and with your right push yourself and the stone forward keeping the stone in front of you. This curling stuff is really fun! And although it looks easy on TV during the Olympics holy cannolis is it hard in real life. This is way harder than something like bowling, it is truly a game for refined graceful gentlemen and I’d recommend giving it a try, although don’t expect to score any points your first time out. I sure didn’t. Now I understand what the challenge of this game is – overthrowing it and underthrowing it. Like the distance in your arm strength between completely overthrowing it and completely underthrowing it is like this thin. That is the real challenge, throwing it as hard as you need to throw it cause I’m either completely overshooting or completely undershooting it the whole time, so it’s going to take a while to master that. That was awesome, a true New Year’s dream come true! But now my next dream is to get something to eat. Something “Russian” and filling. Because Russian food is always so simple, home cooked, I want something Russian but elegant…expensive… VIP… Moscow-style. I wonder what I can do about that? Where can I go? Hmm When I arrived in Moscow some 10 years ago, it was nearly impossible to find a Russian food restaurant for some reason there’s (was) only foreign food. Thankfully the times they are a changing and here at “Uhvat” they offer, real Russian cuisine done the elite way. And actually it is all thanks to a friend of our channel who… oh he is actually right over there. Greetings Chef Viktor You guys may remember Chef Viktor he has been in a bunch of our videos in fact you can watch them if you click on this thing above my head over here. Well Chef Viktor what do we have here, what sort of surprise is this? It’s baked milk Well I didn’t expect that! I’ve never see it outside the store. But is this all you have for me today, just milk? You’ll try the milk and a lot of food. Well that is good news! Okay, so let me take my seat here and see what masterpieces from Chef Viktor await me. And here is shchi soup. Uh huh, and hey what’s that thing? This is an “uhvat” which we use to take things out of the ovens. A so that is why the restaurant is called “Uhvat”. Correct sir. Now it all makes sense. Bon apetit! Thank you sir! You know what guys? I think money can buy happiness. Yeah, I’m right, it can. Oh, so good! Well friends we have a lot of good stuff in front of us, we have a shchi soup which is like a sour cabbage soup, and of course it has some sour cream for it and the dark stuff on it is actually a sort of salt that they kind of like bake, I didn’t quite understand how that works, but it looks good. We of course have moonshine, because why not have moonshine. And this is warmed (baked) milk that gets its brown colour not from chocolate but from slowly being warmed in the oven. And here is why I think is the pièce de résistance, a few different types of bread with a butter candle, yes the candle is edible and we are going to eat that candle very soon! And we also have some Russian pies over here, very traditional, and this is mimoza salad Now mimoza is a type of flower, so why does a salad that has fish and mayonnaise in it have like a flower as its name… don’t worry about that one. This thing is made of something they call “red’ka” (a type of radish) I don’t know what that is but I know it is a vegetable. So that’s the main thing, and here we have, the one thing that might scare me “holodets”. If you know me you know I don’t like holodets very much, but I have a lot of faith in Chef Viktor and hopefully he has been able to do the impossible and make holodets taste acceptable. Well guys I am personally impressed Chef Viktor made holodets that tastes good, he has done the impossible, but anyways I am starting to get full, and I think it is time to go and relax and see the city in style. But I’d hate to let this food go to waste, hey Pasha could you help me out here we’ve got to get this food in our gullet. Alright, come on there you go, there you go! Alright friends I’m going to recommend to you what I recommend to everyone that comes to visit Moscow, take a boat ride. It is the best way to see the entire city while doing nothing and sitting on your butt. It’s… a pretty good idea and I think you’ll enjoy it. So come on let’s take a boat ride and see the city. Let’s go. See the cool thing about these boats is they go 365 days a year, as you can see there’s some chunks of ice over there. Not too many but the boat just goes right through them. So I mean you can do this in summer, you can do it in winter, whenever you feel like. To be honest in winter there is nobody out here, kind of like we’ve got our own private VIP zone which just happens to be really really cold. Friends sometimes I am a bit critical of Moscow. Real Estate prices are mental. Rush hour is brutal. And, city life makes people stressed out to say the least, but times like this remind me of why I came here. This is the golden city, a former Communist land of opportunity that glows its wealth at night. I think I am starting to fall in love with this city all over again. Well obviously guys we are passing what everyone wants to see – the Kremlin. Of course! And what better way to see the Kremlin than on a boat while it’s windy? Yes. Well guys I am actually a little bit tired from our big-time new year’s eve VIP extravaganza here, in fact I think it’s about time to get back to the hotel, and take a little break. Yeah. Oh well after a long day of adventure it’s sure nice to be home. And by “home” I mean at a five-star hotel. In fact we are at the Metropol which is one of the oldest hotels Moscow and it is located right downtown, but as you can see the interior is definitely not very old looking at all. But anyways guys, I’d ask you while I enjoy this wonderful bed to “like”, “comment”, “share” and so on… especially “share” it does good for my heart and for my career, but anyways guys I’ll see you tomorrow! Oh guys, I could get used to this. This is great, I’d like to thank all of you and especially Ded Moroz for making this happen, I could really get used to this. But anyways I am going to sit down, enjoy my coffee and then we are going to carry on with our new year’s luxury adventure in Moscow, ooh it’s a little bit nutty. Alright guys, well, this is Red Square, this is some skating and we’re going to get a hockey lesson from a real legend. See those girls don’t believe in you Pasha they don’t believe in your talents alright come on. I meant to say that there were two girls terrified of cameraman Pasha crushing them as he skated backwards with the camera. Little do they know Pasha is a very experienced hockey player and speaking of experienced hockey players our instructor will be Alexei Yashin, who has won Olympic Medals and been a star of the NHL playing for the Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders for many many seasons. I really enjoyed this. Hockey on Red Square with a real NHL legend! That is just awesome, something you can only do in Moscow. This exercise is to help us learn how to stay in position, if you lean too far forward you slide forward, if you lean too far back you slide back, well now I’m sliding forward leaning backwards. But anyways, neat, I never thought about it that way, this is the best hockey position, to stay perfectly still. Guys I’d recommend this to everyone. Alexei Yashin is a great guy. This is tons of fun but if you do try to do this, learn how to turn around faster than I do, that took like 5 seconds, that was terrible. So learn to turn around and then learn how to play hockey the right way. Tons of fun and they let you keep the shirt! The training that we did was very general, the real reason that people show up is not to make a major breakthrough in their puck handling skills but to meet Alexei and take pictures with him and get his autograph. Like with any profession, hockey players are a mixed bag but Alexei reminded me of my uncles as he was a very big, yet soft spoken gent. There were a few foreigners who seemed to be really big fans of his and everyone got to keep their signed shirts and sticks. By the way in a month we are going to give away the signed jersey you see on me. If you want to have your name in the drawing write “Alexei Yashin” in the comments… but do it in Russian and spell it correctly! Alexei, hockey players travel all over the world, you know it’s new year’s, you’re on a team with Estonians, Swedes, Canadians… how do hockey players celebrate new year’s? Is it a working day for you? Um, I mean for me it was very difficult, because usually we play on December 31st and on January 1st somewhere. I remember a flight from Buffalo to Boston, and we celebrated right on the plane. So we opened a bottle of champaign, had a little cheer with the guys. It’s (was) actually been like new year’s on a plane flying from Buffalo to Boston. And well, what are your wishes for our audience? For their new year’s Again I wish you all the best, happy… merry Christmas, happy new year. I hope all your hopes and wishes will come true and again, it’s (just) keep pounding (away at) your life. I know it is not always like it’s all looking great but, try to find something great in your life. Well thank you very much sir and thank you for this wonderful lesson. No problem. My pleasure. Alright guys, Red Square, Mr. Yashin Alexei, show up and learn to play hockey. Ahh, that hockey on Red Square was AWESOME! I had a really good time and the main thing is I didn’t even fall down even once. So I feel fantastic. So we took a short little stroll over to here at the GUM, which stands for State Universal Store, whatever that means, basically the big department store from Great Communist Period, but the building was built before that, but it doesn’t matter. This is where all the elite brands are and in fact they actually have some of the most elite ice cream in Russia made in a very classic recipe. So we’re going to grab some ice cream, blow a lot of money, because baby it’s new year’s in Moscow. When it comes to shopping I have a stereotypical male attitude towards it… boring! But when you get to use Ded Moroz’s magic to pay for everything and you are in such a lovely environment right next to the Kremlin all of a sudden it gets a lot more interesting. Shopping in a pre-WWII world was a lot more classy, this my friends is no Walmart. So friends, behind me they sell the famous GUM ice cream, which they say had… “the recipe hasn’t been changed in generations. It’s the best ice cream you’ll ever have” Well the one thing I can tell you is it’s one thing at the GUM that everyone can afford Alright let’s test out the legend. Thank you very much It tastes a lot more natural than your average ice cream. You know your average ice cream when you get like a fruit flavor… the woman said this is like a cherry flavor… it actually tastes like real cherries not like a cherry chemical flavor. So uh good, I don’t know if it is something you want to travel to Russia for but it’s good. Well now that my consumerist desires have been satisfied, and I’ve blown the equivalent of my salary, it is time to take a short stroll over to the ballet and get cultured. The way they decorate the city for New Year’s in Moscow is just superb Everything looks magical downtown, it is something you can only do if you come to Moscow. The lights, the magic! Friends as someone who has a design degree I can tell you that the way the turned all the street lights over there into these sparkling glasses of champagne… that’s pretty sweet that’s a fantastic, like designer’s idea. I love it. Probably my favorite Christmas decoration, and not because it’s alcohol, don’t think so ill of me, hey! If there is one thing that Russians love it is trying to copy the West and because some countries in Europe have Christmas markets that means that for some reason we must have them in Russia too. I guess they are cute but they seem very unnatural and a bit expensive. Anyways, I think I’m going the wrong way, because I want to take in some culture while I am still on Ded Moroz’s dime. Alright friends here we at the State Kremlin Palace and if you hear that music you might know where it’s from. Yes we are here to see The Nutcracker the ultimate new year’s ballet. This is great and most importantly it is going to be classy. For some reason they had some military uniforms of yesteryear on display at the entrance to the ballet? Weird flex, but okay Friends here is an exclusive look at the members of the ballet as they warm up before their performance Normally they don’t allow cameras in here but I am persuave… my foreign accent is so gosh darn appealing. Anyways, much like hockey and football players ballerinas need to warm up and start their day HOURS before they perform. Pavel was telling me that I should try to participate, well guess what guys, I’m not going to be doing any splits any time soon, maybe after I am dead you can kind of cut me into that shape but uh not happening. Look at all the candy they eat, can you believe that professional basically athletes eating candy. Yes apparently candy burns up quick in their bodies so they are allowed to eat it, especially when it is someone’s birthday! And it was someone’s birthday on the day we filmed too bad they didn’t get a day offo to celebrate, but that is life in the ballet baby… hardcore! Katya was not who I was expecting at all, I was thinking a prima ballerina from Russia would be a like a drill sergeant from the Death Korps of Krieg, however she was a very chipper, bashful and optimistic person! And she was nice enough to not cancel on us, she had a +38°C temperature that day, but you sure couldn’t tell! She’s a real trooper. Prima ballerina Katya and I are going to take a look and see what it’s like backstage at the ballet. Come on, let’s go. Young people, you are all so young, younger than me but I don’t see one tattoo on anyone. Are you allowed to have a flaming skull on your neck or is that forbidden in your profession? Well, take a look Ooh! You have one! Wow! Do you have to hide that all the time? Yeah you have to hide them all the time, glue something over them or use makeup. We can’t let the audience see them. You are a “prima ballerina”, so how did you get this title? For example in the world of sumo if you get like 7 wins in major tournaments you become a “yokozuna”, the best of the best. How do you earn titles in your profession? When I just got into the theatre at the tender age of 18, I think we had to dance in and master 5 different performances in order to become prima ballerinas This of course is reviewed by the powers that be and there is no guarantee that you can earn it, there are some criteria that I am not sure about because there are people who have done 25 performances but have yet to get the title Here is my dressing room, let’s go I will show you it. Here are my costumes all ready. Yeah everything is all set. This is for the first act. A lovely dress. This is for the second act for the pas de bourrée. Well people come from regions all over Russia to see our performance in Moscow. They want to see the Kremlin Palace, they want to see the Kremlin Christmas Tree and of course they want to see The Nutcracker, because it is a true fairytale about Marie and how her doll comes to live and turns into a real prince. I am pretty sure this children’s tale is unique in that it is loved by adult audiences too. The theatre is always full for the Nutcracker which is impressive because this is a 6,000 seat venue. Like any Russian girl Katya wants to look lovely on stage. She let us go to her very imperial dressing room to take a look at how she gets ready. For men to go on TV or stage they slap a flat color of makeup on your face, smash your hair down and you’re done, for the ladies, this is a much bigger and delicate process Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is probably the most “New Yearzie” of all possible stage performances. Whether you know it or not you’ve probably heard the music from this ballet in movies and advertisements and not just because the rights to it are free but because it is truly wonderful music. The performance was pure holiday magic that you can only experience in Moscow. I’d recommend that anyone come and make an evening of watching this wonderful ballet! Bravo ladies and gents and especially Katya, bravo to you too! And, pour vous! Maybe that’s French, I don’t know. That is for you! Thank you, thank you so much! Not at all my dear! Thank you for the wonderful tour and look into your lives. Very interesting, I mean your LIFE. Grammar is not my bag. Thank you, so lovely! Well I think it is time for me to get dressed and watch the show. Well friends I think we could use a little bit more of that new year’s eve magic, oh I have to say that’s MUCH BETTER. So let’s go take in the ballet! Well it looks like I am about to enjoy an amazing performance. Ladies and gentlemen, we are at the Insight Restaurant 84 stories above Moscow proper, and we are going to celebrate New Year’s the right way the stylish way. Well friends from everyone at Russia Beyond I wish you the absolute most merry possible Christmas and a fantastic new year. Now I have a couple pieces of advice about visiting Moscow. The first piece is that Moscow is absolutely massive. You should never ask if something is “close” in Moscow, you should always ask “how far is it?”. Because the territory of Moscow is very very big. And guess what guys there are 4 different international airports here. So you really want to pay attention to where your hotel is located, and where your airport is. Furthermore get your Yandex, get your Uber on your telephone because visiting Moscow means using a lot of taxis. And although the Ruble may have lost its value recently making the Dollar and Euro much stronger here and buy a lot more. Well there is sort of two ways to visit Moscow. Someone asked me if they could come to Moscow on $2,000 for two weeks. Of course you can see everything, go to Red Square and all that, but can you live the high-life on $2,000 in Moscow? Not so much. So anyways guys, our new year’s fantasy is over, you know Moscow is a very elite, cool, hip, trendy place but the reality of my life is very unelite. For me new years’ it’s getting drunk with your relatives and with each shot you start to like them more and more. It’s eating 15 different salads that all contain mayonnaise and considering them to be each a delicacy. And it’s spending time with your wonderful children even if they’ve been very bad in the previous year. So anyways from everyone at Russia Beyond, and especially from me and these kids… it’s happy new year’s time baby! Alright kids… ahh. Pasha, merry Christmas, from Russia Beyond merry Christmas!