Day 8: Moscow State University and the pub crawl (Meeuwis) 

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Like every day, we ate our breakfast at 8 o’clock. The breakfast for today consisted of a salad with cucumber and tomato, some kind of Philadelphia, bread and cookies. Like many others, I tried the Philadelphia but was not a big fan. I ended up only eating the salad.

After breakfast we walked to the metro and went to Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU). MSU was built in 1755 and has 39 faculties. We arrived at the university and had to go to the sixth Floor. This made us think of Flux, where the sixth floor is our go-to place to study and socialise with our friends.

At the sixth floor we first got a presentation about the history of MSU and the Faculty of Mathematics and Cybernetics. After that presentation we got a small presentation of a modeling project related to the Russian space programme. The presentation featured several video’s about draft applications and control center visualization modules for supply missions to the International Space Station. 

The last presentation we saw that morning was about the physical discomfort caused by the 3D effect in films. The presenter’s use of “memes” in her presentation made it funny and interesting at the same time. For the people who don’t know what a meme is: a meme is a picture/video with a funny text around it. I thought the presentation was very interesting, since I never considered the negative side effects of 3D films. There are several effects that can cause discomfort, and some are more severe than others. Luckily, films are getting better at fixing these issues.

We got a small tour around the faculty, saw the computer labs and the supercomputer systems that are located at the university. Afterwards we got lunch in the university cafetaria. The first thing after the lunch was a presentation of the MSU science park. It houses over 100 companies and is the biggest one in Russia. You can compare it with the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven but then a lot larger.

Right after that we went to the bottanical garden of the university. In this garden grew plants from all over the world sorted by region. However, our walk through the garden was interrupted by rain. This was the first time in Russia that rain interrupted an excursion. After the rain had stopped we split in two groups: one group went back to the hostel and the other went to see the main building of the university. This building was one of the highest in Europe! Here we visited a very impressive theater where Stalin had given some speeches and we got to the 28 Floor to see the view over the city. 

Then we had some free time, so everybody got back to the hostel to change clothes and relax a little bit before we went on a self-organized pub crawl. Around 6 o’clock we left to get some dinner. We found a place called Papa’s Grill nearby the pubs we wanted to visit. This was the first time we were with a group larger than ten people and we didn’t have any trouble splitting the bill at the same time! 

When we arrived at the first bar we received some pocket money for the pub crawl, so we could decide what we wanted to order. Me and six other people didn’t want beer that evening so we decided to try out some cocktails. We visited four different bars and then went back to the second bar, which we had decided to be the best one. After finishing our drinks we got back to the hostel and went to bed. It was a great and memorable evening.

– Meeuwis van den Hoek

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