We went to Abramtsevo, after reading about day trips in the Moscow News. This is a free advertising newspaper written in English. When you arrive at the station, walk down the platform, cross the rail line, making sure a train is not coming, walk over a bridge and follow the road down through a small forest to the main road. As we walked through the forest, I noticed tons of rubbish (trash) that had been dumped by the side of the road. It mostly consisted of empty and broken vodka and beer bottles, what I call 'Russian nature art'. I know dumping rubbish in nature areas is not unique to just Russia, it happens everywhere but I cannot understand why people do it and it makes me really angry. My anger slightly subsided when I breathed in teh fresh air and heard the sound of birds signing, I felt relaxed. Better than any beer could ever do and a lot healthier. Once you get to the main road, after walking through the forest from the train platform, turn left and walk down the main road and up to Abramtsevo. Be careful as the road as no pavement (sidewalk) as you walk up. Abramtsevo is at the top on the right, there are no signs to say which way to go or even any sign to say it exists. Abramtsevo is a kind of private garden with houses within it that was once used by Russian artists in the 19th century.
Before you go into Abramtsevo, have lunch first. I recommend you arrive there at about midday and go to a restaurant called Galerya you won't have much choice as that is the only place to eat. Galerya is situated on the right of Abramtsevo, down a road. I had a very good Cesar salad and a delicious mushroom soup. The waiter bought the salad first and then later the soup. Then he bought my wife's soup fifteen minutes later fater she had watched me eat my soup. Three things to get used to in Russia. One, in some restaurants they tend to bring the food as it comes out of the kitchen, that fact that you eat soup first and then a main meal (my large salad) is unimportant to the waiter and to the cook in Russia. The second thing is, Russian soups are very tasty and I think Russians specialise in making all kinds of soups. The third thing is, a salad may not be a salad as you are used to with lettuce and salad stuff, it could be a mixture of things drowned in thick mayonnaise. The hotel opposite the restaurant is not cheap and will cost about six thousand rubles for a 'standard' room, be careful of the definition of a 'standard room' before you book a hotel in Russia. The hotel looks good but like many things here, it is very over priced.
Abramtsevo, is worth seeing and is the perfect nature tonic from Moscow living. Our entrance tickets cost five hundred rubles. I have noticed that in Russia, they have a strange habit of selling entrance tickets with separate prices for each museum house/hut. They don't generally sell one ticket for all things within the museum area. I expect their sales logic is that it gives people a choice but they are not making as much profit at they could in their ticket sales. It's also rather annoying as when you get inside, you see a charming house/hut that was once 19th century washroom for example, you go up the steps and are met by a grumpy old women who won't let you in because your ticket does not include that house/hut! You can only enter where you have paid for that house/hut (museum attraction). Since you don't know what everything is like inside until you get inside, you won't know what you want to see until you get into the museum area. I hope I make some sense?
The gardens of Abramtsevo are worth walking around, although I would not say the artists huts are very interesting but there is nice small church within the grounds. Walk through the forest, see the big lake, listen to birds, smell the fresh air and return back to smoky Moscow feeling a little bit more relaxed than when you left it.
Note: Restaurant Galerya has kids high chairs for eating but no baby changing area.