'Izmailovsky' is mostly a weekend market, and it comprises several sections: souvenir section at the front; flea market, antiques, and art, at the back. Like all markets, this one is also colorful and exciting, but not noisy; the lack of noise came as a pleasant surprise to me.
I wandered through all the sections, but since I was interested in buying some souvenirs, I naturally concentrated on the souvenir part of the market .
Besides the souvenir stalls, there was a space (full of smoke) with meat stands, red tables and chairs, for people to have a barbeque meal.
Here's my meal (not cheap): grilled lamb (big bone, little meat), some vegs, a very delicious pita bread, a bottle of sparkling mineral water.
The souvenir part of Izmailovsky market is based mainly on two elements: matrioshka dolls and memorabilia, with some additional stalls and shops that sell T- shirts, russian fur hats with ear flaps woolen socks, shawls, lacquer boxes, table coasters etc..As they say, there's something for everyone.
According to Wikipedia, matrioshka is "a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside the other" .To put it simply - doll inside a doll, inside a doll, inside... The name 'matrioshka', as one understands, refers to the mother figure of a big russian family.
I was utterly amazed at the huge variety of those dolls. They were of all shapes, colors, size, quality, hand-made or only hand-painted, with 3-5 and even more nested figures. Prices - accordingly.
As for Memorabilia items- these include soviet era medals, pins, knives, coins, stamps, propaganda posters, busts of soviet leaders, and more.(Back, at the flea market , one could find ' heavier' military stuff :rifles, helmets, uniforms, war masks).
The best part of my day was at the end of my visit at the market when I reached the metro station to go back to town. Outside the metro station called Partizanskaya, a trio from Colombia was performing rhytmical spanish songs and enchanting the audience. The russians seemed to be very generous with the money they put in the yellow box.