Tag Archives: moscow

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Two of the many host cities for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup – Moscow and Yekaterinburg.

Back in 2016 when Michael Chan and I were doing the Trans Siberian Railway adventure, Moscow and Yekaterinburg was one of the many stops that we made.


Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow under refurbishment for the world cup 2018.

The opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia will be played here on June 14, 18:00 and finals on July 15, 18:00

The above picture was taken during our boat cruise on Moscow river.


Luzhniki Stadium after completion.


I took the above picture when we were in Yekaterinburg.

Ekaterinburg’s Tsentralny Stadium, the largest sports facility in the capital of the Urals and home of the local FC Ural, is temporarily getting a new name, Ekaterinburg Arena, for the duration of the 2018 World Cup.

Tsentralny Stadium was built in 1953-1957. Its Soviet neoclassical façade is on the cultural heritage list. The eastern and western entrance gates are porticos with columns, adorned with statues of a milling machine operator, a skier, a marksman, a footballer, a female athlete with a torch, and a steel founder. The ticket office buildings outside the entrances are shaped as pylons. Yekaterinburg Arena is sited in the central Verkh-Isetskiy District, between Ulitsa Repina and Ulitsa Pirogova, across from the 1860 John the Baptist Cathedral on the other side of Ulitsa Repina.  The historical look of the building was preserved intact during the reconstruction. In fact, the architecture of the new parts of the building’s façade is intentionally neutral. They are only a backdrop, underscoring the merit of the historical parts. Following the reconstruction, completed in December 2017, the stadium now has a seating capacity of 35,000. It will be reduced to 23,000 post-World Cup.

Each stadium for the competition has to have a minimum capacity of 35,000, which was becoming an issue for the Ekaterinburg Arena in Yekaterinburg, expanding two of the stands beyond the limits of the stadium.


Among all the venue stadiums in Russia Ekateringburg Arena Stadium is the most unique and famous of all.

The 2018 World Cup venue Ekaterinburg Arena has odd new stands at either end of the pitch. The stands at either end (left and right) have been partially constructed outside of the stadium to hit a 45,000 capacity

Upcoming matches in Ekaturinburg Arena Stadium:

  1. Friday, 15 June 17:00 Egypt – Uruguay
  2. Thursday, 21 June 20:00 France – Peru
  3. Sunday, 24 June 20:00 Japan – Senegal
  4. Wednesday, 27 June 19:00 Mexico – Sweden


Here are some of the many attractions in Yekaterinburg.


Obelisk Europe-Asia Border

I’m standing on the left which is the Europe side and Michael on the right which is the Asia side.


The Church on the Blood

The events, which took place on the night of June, 17 1918, when the Tsar’s family were executed in the house of the military engineer Ipatiev in Yekaterinburg.

However, at the beginning of the 2000th it was decided to build the Church on Blood on the site of the Ipatiev House where the Romanov family were killed.


Ganina Yama Monastery

Ganina Yama Monastery stands on the site where the bodies of the last Russian Tsar and his family were thrown after their execution by the Bolsheviks.


Our young Russian tour guide from the municipal council who speaks fluent English with his old faithful Russian made car Lada which took us around Yekaterinburg.



Jewish Cuisine – Kosher Cafe Alef

Moscow – Russia



Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center


Kosher cafe Alef is situated in the lobby of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center; it is a cozy place, which will entertain you with its rich menu, comfortable atmosphere, quality and attentive service.


What is Kosher? Kosher is a process of food production that adheres to dietary guidelines set forth in the Bible and clarified over the centuries by rabbinic authorities in Jewish law.

Kosher means “fit” or “proper”– a concept associated with cleanliness, purity and extra supervision.

Kosher food is by nature more controlled than many other means of food production.

While kosher is primarily an ethical or faith-based observance, there are some potential benefits to eating kosher.

For instance, kosher menus separate dairy from meat products. It is interesting to observe that it is recognized that iron and calcium are not absorbed well when ingested together.



Hummus has a rich tradition- some even refer to it as an “ancient” food that has a history of being consumed by important historical figures in the Middle East.

According to ancient scriptures, hummus- at least as we know it today- was first consumed in Egypt around the 13th Century, although the recipe used at this time differed from today’s because it omitted tahini and used other nuts instead.

Today hummus still plays a major part in the diet of many healthy populations living around the world, mainly in the Middle East.

Hummus is commonly consumed with every single meal in Israel, is frequently included in all “mezzeh tables” in Syria and Turkey, is eaten most days for breakfast along with bread in Palestine and Jordan, and is still enjoyed in Egypt and many Arabic nations in a variety of meals too.




Brought to Israel by Yemenite Jews, this buttery, flaky flatbread became so popular in Israel that it crossed into mainstream Israeli cuisine, joining the likes of falafel and hummus. It is traditionally served either savory—with hot tomato sauce.


Jewish Spinach Quiche

The whole experience of being with the Jewish community in the museum and eating the authentic Jewish food in the cafe at the museum seems so exciting with the kosher way of Jewish food. We totally enjoyed the food that we ordered. Hallelujah!

Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center 

Obraztsova St.,

11, Building 1A,



Russian Cuisine – Stolovaya No. 57

Moscow – Russia

When you come to Moscow, you definitely want to try true Russian cuisine. Of course, you can do it in most restaurants, but there’s a more authentic variant. And it’s cheaper, too! Highly recommended by our walking tour guide.

Moscow GUM (Glavnyi Universalnyi Magazin; it may literally be translated as “the main universal store”) is situated in the center of the city and it faces the Red Square. In English this huge shopping mall is usually called “State Department Store”.


There are a variety of places where you can have a meal. But the most unusual is Soviet Style Restaurant #57. Actually, it is not a restaurant; it is a so called “stolovaya”.


It is notable for its self-service and traditional Russian food. Most items are charged by the weight. A canteen style restaurant where you start from the beginning and pick the food you want and put them on your tray and move on to the cashier and make your payment.


Moreover, the interior design reflects an atmosphere similar to that in Soviet times. Even tableware and tablecloths are made the Soviet way.


All the dishes are prepared according to the traditions of Russia’s cuisine. There are plenty of different dishes. Some of them are classic (like Russian salad, borsch, pelmeni, stewed fruits), and some of them are less popular. Even so, there is always something new and appetizing.


No doubt, this place attracts tourists, but Russians like to eat here, too. The good thing is not having to wait – everything is ready, you just pick what you like. And the second reason is, of course, tasty food!

Moscow GUM

Red square,