Now fully revamped and merged with the wonderfully reconstructed Krymskaya Naberezhnaya embankment is this motley collection of (mostly kitschy) sculpture and monuments to Soviet idols (Stalin, Sverdlov, a selection of Lenins and Brezhnevs) that were ripped from their pedestals in the post-1991 wave of anti-Soviet feeling. All of these stand in lovely gardens with boardwalks and many inviting benches.
Moscow's answer to London's South Bank, Krymskaya Naberezhnaya features wave-shaped street architecture with many Scandinavian-style wooden elements, beautiful flower beds and a moody fountain that ejects water randomly from many holes in the ground – a sure way to make children (and some adults) run and laugh unstoppably for hours on a hot sunny day.
Moored here, the cruise ship Valery Bryusov is being converted into an art and educational venue, complete with a cinema, a music venue, cafes, a co-working space and even a barber shop.
The Vernisage, an artists market, is about the only place left here from the old days. The embankment begins near the tip of Bolotny island, where the mammoth-sized statue of Peter the Great authored by the controversial sculptor Zurab Tsereteli surveys the area from a giant column. We'd call it fully pedestrianised, if not for the cyclists and in-line skaters who often create what resembles a very normal Moscow traffic jam. There is a shop renting bicycles and in-line skating equipment. This is the starting point of the vehicle-free 8km route that runs through Gorky Park, Neskuchny Garden and Vorobyovy Gory.