I went to Moscow. I know. How random.
What does this have to do with a website about Cape Town … and being vegan? Not much really. But I bet you are just a tad interested AND surely some Capetonians might have wondered whether it’s a vegan-friendly holiday destination? Well…vodka IS vegan!
Did I love it? Absolutely.
Q&A with the CAPE TOWN VEGAN
“What made you want to go there?”
I wanted to be able to say, “When I was in Russia…”
“Did you need a visa?”
South Africans don’t need visas; just a valid passport.
“What was the flight like?”
I flew on Turkish Airlines and they were GREAT. About 11hrs to Istanbul and then about 3hrs to Moscow. Easy. I prayed to the Gods of the Air and ended up getting a row of four seats to myself on the long haul back and was able to sleep… in economy!
“Do they wear those non-vegan-friendly fur caps and drink lots of vodka?”
There wasn’t a single person in the whole of Moscow that wore a Ushanka (fur hat) and I didn’t get to drink vodka even once! Vodka IS a thing, but it’s like saying that everyone in France wears a beret and Londoners speak with a Cockney accent.
“What was your favourite vegan food there?”
Argh! The language barrier was PROBLEMATIC. The concept of veganism is relatively new – newer than Cape Town! I found one AMAZING vegan restaurant called FRESH that was a lifesaver. I went there three times in ten days. I also found a vegan chocolate that had a famous painting of three bears on it. I lived on those. Which is probably why I got sick. I felt that Moscow didn’t really have a culture of food. It was like every other European city I have been to without anything local to give it an ‘edge’. This is like conscious streaming.
“What did you do to stay healthy on the trip?”
I took Airmune (for Immune Support), a ton of raw vegan snack bars, and my trusty B12 stash… and STILL got sick!
“What was the weather like?”
Over the ten days that I was there it snowed, rained, howled with wind and then was so hot that I got sunburnt. Pretty much your average day in Cape Town.
“What was the hardest adjustment you had to make?”
Accepting that all I could eat at the breakfast buffet for ten days straight was plain pasta, plain rice, and plain potatoes.
“Was it expensive?”
It was exactly the same (almost cent for cent) as living in South Africa, in terms of transport, food, sightseeing and gifts to take home. One of the cheapest holiday destinations I have ever been to in fact!
“Do they have good coffee?”
They have Starbucks. That’s all that matters. I’m allowed to have ONE vice okay?
“And other junk food chains?”
Yes, but with no vegan options! Even worse than South Africa!
“How did you learn about a culture and meet locals without speaking their language?”
It’s called The Language of Love! Kidding! No, I’m not. No, I totally am. Honestly – I used a lot of Google Translate and held my phone in people’s faces when I wanted something. I also learned the Russian word for “Thank You”, “Spasibo” which went a long way.
“What was one of your best moments of your trip?”
Too many to mention… But: there were so many moments of turning corners and gasping at just how beautiful the city was. I have NEVER seen such opulence in my life before. It is hands down the most beautiful city I have ever been to (having traveled to Amsterdam, Lagos, London, Melbourne, New York and Paris) (<— notice how weird Nigeria looks in that list. I loved it there!!)
“Would you recommend it as a holiday destination?”
YES! I am planning on going back again next year. It was THAT incredible. Life is not always about food. I will endeavor to do my homework a little more thoroughly next time and maybe I will find it easier in terms of finding places to eat and ways to make my experience a little less stressful in terms of nourishment.
AND WHAT DID I DO THERE?
Red Square (Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Saint Basil’s Cathedral)
Lubyanka Building (old KGB)
Central Children’s Store on Lubyanka – view from the rooftop
Russian Army Theatre
State Tretyakov Gallery
Chekhov House Museum
WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW?
Ask me more questions and I’ll add it to the article!
P.S. This is a website FOR Capetonians… so tell me what info you need me to provide you with! Xx