Edit Blog Post
Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 53.9678, 27.5766
We spent two days in Moscow visiting most of the main sites. Our first stop was the Metro. We were taken through some of the more picturesque stations, particularly from the Soviet era. For Fletc\her and I this was old territory as in 1980 we travelled extensively on the Metro and had seen most of these stations. However ,it was interesting to see that not a lot had changed.
Our first stop was the Kremlin. The entrance was much as I remembered it but there was now a modern ticket booth there. We were taken in and shown through the main buildings. The Palace of Congress is now used mainly as a concert hall as the Parliament building is now outside the Kremlin walls. We walked to Cathedral Square where the orthodox cathedrals are situated. Passed by the hiuge cannon and bell which we had seen in 1980. Went into the cathedral of the Assumption. This is the main church here. The walls are covered by frescoes and icons and it has special pews for the czar, the czarina and the metrpolitan included. The church of the Annunciation which we had visited last time was closed for renovation.
we travelled into Red Square. Again it seemed that the years had not changd the view, apart from the fact that instead of posters of Breshnev and Lenin there were now advertising signs for Samsung and McDonalds.When we entered the Gum Department store we were amazed. In 1980 this was a collection of market stalls in an elaborate but dilapated building. Now this is a first class shopping centre with prices we could not afford. We had lunch in one of the small cafes and this was a sandwich and a drink.
While the group went to theArmoury we explored the Food Hall at the Gum and the surroundings. Moscow has been westernised to a great extent.
The next day we went out to Zagorsk, the centre of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is about 45 kms outside the city. We stopped on the way to visit Katya, an old lady living in a traditional Izbia house in a small village. It was very informative to see how the the real Russians live.
The Monastery complex was interesting. Unfortunately, it poured rain the entire time which certainly made things difficult. However, we went into the main church and listened to the beautiful
chants of the monks. This is where the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church is elected and is the centre of their organisation.
In the afternoon we went to a museum where there is a remarkable painting of the Battle of Borodino.This is presented as a 360 degree panorama with added diorama techniques to bring viewers into the battlefields. This was a significant battle in the war against Napoleon. Although the Russians lost the battle, Napoleon entered Moscow but noone surrended and the Russians burned the city rather than leave it for him. He then had to retreat and they harried him all the way. ( Read War and Peace)
After that we were dropped off in Arbat street. This is now a pedestrian mall. We had dinner there. It is very different from the place we saw in 1980.
We then went on a Moscow by night tour. This took us around the city and up to what they now call the Sparrow Hills but which we knew as Lenin Hills. We had a great view of the Olympic Stadium and the University. We then went to Swan Lake which is situated next to Novodice Cathedral. Our final stop was at Red
Square. We had 30 minutes to wander and take photos. It is a magical place at night.
The next day we travelled to Minsk. The day was long and the journey unimpressive and tiring. Not much was seen along the way. However, we have been in Belarus, for what that is worth. We stopped at the Hotel Planeta. We had a good dinner there with the Irish contigent on the bus providing singing and eventually we had some dancing to a local duo. All in all a happy evening..
Tot: 1.731s; Tpl: 0.048s; cc: 10; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0234s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb