In the spring of  2004 we traveled to  Moscow, Russia.  Nancy's brother Dale was working at the US embassy there so we wanted to take advantage of the built in tour guide. 

Red square is in the center of Moscow.  From this vantage point you see GUM, the state department store, on the right with the big red banner.  Saint Basil's Cathedral is in the center and the Kremlin is on the left.  

My picture of Red Square was selected to be used on the masthead of  the mendeleyev journal.  
It is an online source of information about the life, art, culture, language and music of Russia.

Here is link to their Soup page (chosen because I like their soups).   Ones you may try include Borsch (борщ), Schi (Щи), Uha (Уха), and Okroshka (Oкрошка).

This is us in front of st. Basil's just to prove we really were there.   GUM is basically a mall with about 1000 independent trendy shops.

One of the entrances to the Kremlin.  Inside we saw the Tsar's cannon.  It has never been fired probably because no one can figure out how to load one of those cannon balls.  The Tsar's bell was never rung.  It cracked when it was cooled too fast when it was poured.  Why did it cool to fast?  Because the workers poured water on it to put out the fire from the hot metal hitting the wooden form.  We were a bit surprised to find several cathedrals inside the Kremlin walls.

Midnight in Moscow, pictures not the Kenny Ball recording. The Russian White House is the home to their parliament.  Victory Park fountains.  Novodevichy Convent.

Novodevichy Convent where Tsars sent their wives to keep them out of trouble or when they wanted a new one.

The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was built to celebrate Russia's victory over Napoleon's army in the Great Patriotic War of 1812.  In1931 Stalin had it destroyed and a swimming pool was put in its place.  In 1995 construction was begun on the present cathedral with the highest cross being put in place in 1996.

A few of the other churches we saw in Moscow.

A memorial to a famous russian clown in the cemetery next to Novodevichy.   Many famous people are buried here including Chekhov, Eisenstein, Gogol, Khrushchev, Kropotkin, Mayakovsky, Prokofiev, Stanislavsky and Shostakovich.

The Moscow Metro is an amazing place.  Every station has it's own unique art and architecture.  The trains run every 90 seconds during rush hour and every couple of minutes during the rest of the day. It is easy to use if you can read the station names or plan your trip and count stops.  We managed one trip unescorted by Dale or Lucy and didn't have a problem.  The walls and floors are a geology museum.  Many of the stations were outfitted with heavy doors during the cold war to provide fallout shelters in the case of an American atomic attack.  With stations as much as 300 feet deep direct radiation wouldn't have been a problem.

We visited Gorky Park in the rain.  Guards at the entrance weren't going to let us in even though we could see that there were people walking through.  Lucy talked with (read bribed) them and we got to look around.  Across the street is the graveyard of statues where many monuments from earlier times have been stored. 

The entrance to the Moscow Zoo just down the street from the American Embassy and one of the kids that was visiting.

Detski Mir (Children's World) is the largest children's store in Russia.  The store wasn't at all busy and the sales people were very helpful.

Lucy wanted to show us her apartment.  We encouraged her to give us a musical performance and she obliged.  She is very good.

Would you believe these are garages for cars.

The natural history museum looked like it hadn't changed in 50 years except for the accumulation of dust.  They did have the largest display of butterflies I have ever seen.

It took some doing to find the Folk Art Museum.  Many of the roads in Moscow change names as you go from one block to the next so pay careful attention to your map.  However many street names are being replaced by ones that don't remind people of the Soviet era so your map won't list the name on the street sign.  Good luck.
Once at the museum we saw displays of  many forms of folk art.  This woman was working on bobbin lace to pass the time not as an exhibit.  In galleries on other floors were matryoshka dolls and glass art.

The Verdinha main gate (I probably don't have that spelled right).  The Friendship of the Peoples fountain has statues of 16 girls in national dress - one from each of the Soviet republics.  The park is also known as the Exhibition of the Achievements of the People's Economy or VDNKh.  There are pavilions to show the products and features of each of the Soviet Republics and others to display various industries and achievements.  Now nearly all of the displays have been replaced with little kiosks selling souvenirs, electronics, household goods, clothing, or things you may need in your dacha.  There was even a display of little dacha cabins that could be purchased as a kit to be assembled for your vacation home. 

Yes, it is a McDonalds.  Signs like this helped me to learn more of the Russian alphabet.

The Bolshoi theater.  We attended and opera there mostly so we could see the interior.

Young couples often go to a park overlooking Moscow to get their wedding pictures taken.

Izmailovsky is a huge flea market and place to get souvenirs and almost anything else you can carry.  Just outside the gate a russian bear and trainer perform.  Inside we had shashlik form one of the stands and purchased matryoshka dolls from this vendor.  Note the Yankees hat.

More of our trip to Russia St. Petersburg and Mendeleev's laboratory.

See other places we have visited here.

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