Season's Greetings 2010

News before Christmas. Seasons greetings with upcoming winter holidays.

Over the last couple of weeks before the upcoming winter holidays the traffic in Moscow became worse and worse. This was especially true after several heavy snowfalls and sudden changes in temperature: from +5 to -25 and then back to 0 today.

Today, I provided my clients from Hong Kong with a one day city tour showing the best sites of Moscow. During this one day tour I was able to show Jueeun and Suisse the major highlights of Moscow in addition to providing them with lots of historical background and taking many pictures. In spite of the bad traffic we were able to visit the Red Square, Lenin's tomb, GUM, Alexander Gardens, Moscow Metro, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and see a beautiful panorama of the Kremlin from the Patriarchy Bridge. Next, we took a driving tour around the city and saw stunning panoramas of Moscow from Sparrow Hills and Novodevichy Convent. The traffic was terrible at the end of the day as usual, so we decided to stop at Old Arbat Street—the famous pedestrian area in center of Moscow filled with restaurants and souvenir shops. While we were there we enjoyed a good, reasonably priced dinner at a local café called "Mu-Mu". After Old Arbat, we moved toward the Golden Apple Hotel (near Tverskaya Street) where my clients were staying, and we walked to Pushkinskaya Square to have a look around and to buy some groceries in a famous shop called "Eliseevsky".

As all of my former clients know, I take my Nikon D300 everywhere I go. Recently I had big loss and am still very upset that one of my main universal lenses broke. Over the last year and a half-- after I purchased it for $700 and one of my repeat clients brought it to me from Miami -- I took thousands of photos using the Nikkor 18-200 mm F/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF DX VR lens and was very happy with it for universality and quality. But, approximately a half year ago I noticed that the zoom feature became harder to open and close and I had to use more power than usual to close it. Two weeks ago something happened that is the most horrible thing for me as an amateur and "crazy" photographer: something cracked inside my lens and it stopped working because of some mechanical damage. I used it very carefully and never dropped or hit it at all. It is not so easy to fix it in Russia and I am very sad and miss it very much. So, for a while, the old lens is not fixed and a new one is not yet purchased. Having no other choice, I can only use my Nikkor 50 mm lens that I basically use indoors to take portraits of our Chihuahua and Russkiy Toy (Russian toy-terrier) puppies. This lens is very good except for just one thing - the matrix in my Nikon D300 is not full-framed, like in new D700 for example, so the angle of coverage is much less than in professional cameras with the same lens. Today I took several portraits of my clients using a simple but great 50 mm lens, and with the current news I want to share the one that I took on Red Square.

Right before Catholic Christmas I would like to follow my traditions and send greetings with my clients Jueeun and Suisse on this picture to all my former clients and visitors of my site before the upcoming winter holidays.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are favorite holidays for people in many countries and they associate these holidays with some magic, dreams and the best of wishes. This year was not an easy year for many people in the world during the global economic crisis, so from my heart I would like to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, prosperity, health and happiness in the new 2010 year!

With BEST Regards from Moscow,
Arthur Lookyanov
Private Guide & Personal Driver

Posted: December 24, 2009
Edited: December 25, 2009

About Me in Short

Guide, Driver and Photographer Arthur Lookyanov

My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website from 2002. Read more about me and my services, check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.

See you in Moscow!