In all sorts of places in the centre of Moscow, I feel that I’m looking at streetscapes which I can only describe as ‘dreamy’.

On the one hand, this is probably just to do with the more monumental parts of the city causing flashbacks to half-remembered Stalinist propaganda films which I’ve seen over the years.

On the other, though, I think it’s because there has been such a mind-boggling amount of renovation work going on here recently. I find myself walking along streets full of perfectly restored buildings, painted in beautiful pastel colours, freshly laid tarmac, brand new pavements. It’s hard to capture this in pictures, but here are a few that might give a rough idea.

It might also be something to do with the Italian influence on the older architecture, which brings this sort of utopian image to mind:

Strangely enough, the dreamy feeling reminds me most of my reaction to Poundbury, the new extension to the town of Dorchester in the UK (you can easily read about that elsewhere), which I visited for the first time earlier this summer. Here are a few Poundbury shots:

In most other respects, though, I can report that Moscow and Poundbury tend towards dissimilarity.

Moscow, 13 July 2019