Resurrection Gate: Entrance to the Red Square
Rebuilt entirely since it had been demolished by Stalin's order since it made it harder for the tanks and soldiers to reach the square fast.
After 4 incredible days exploring St Pete, mostly in the great company of my 2 new British friends, I can recommend it as a great destination, particularly for those who enjoy walking while exploring incredibly beautiful buidings, churches, and canals. Lot's of Russian history on the streets and museums.
MOSCOW: Beautiful metropolis, fascinating churches, with fairly unfriendly people, very high prices and horrible traffic jams. That's a simplified descripition of the capital I have extensively explored on foot for 3 days.
From the still enigmatic Kremlin, the sight of Lenin's body, which has been preserved since he died in 1924, to the beautiful metro underground, you are reminded of the soviet era. However, the contrasting sight of very exclusive shops, the unbelievable number of very expensive cars, and the innumerous elegant cafes/restaurants, make it hard to believe that not long ago this was a communist country. Moscow "feels" very capitalist and european, with great abundance of designer brand names everywhere.
The Russian people seem to like the lifestyle of other capitalist nations, but on their own Russian way and space. They are tolerante, but not friendly, to tourists. We were denied help with directions
Saint Basil's Church
It's intricate and colorful beauty brightens Red Square
Very rarely we find anything written in English, even on tourist places like the airports, restaurants, metro, Kremlin etc. Surprisinly, young Russians generally do not speak English.
Accidentaly, we got to "participate" on a historical Russian moment. At the Church of Christ of Savior, which had been completely destroyed during the soviet era and recently rebuilt from the ground up, the Russian Orthodox Church from Russia and the one from abroad, which had been on bad terms from 80 years, reunited. President Putin, the media, and ME, were there. It was quiet an unexpected and interesting experience. See some pictures.
Remember that I have written that I wouldn't dare go into a Mc Donald? Well, let me take that back. I have discovered that the hamburger joint has accompaning "Mc Cafes" here. Posh looking cafes, great tasting desserts and coffee, cozy atmosphere, it would put Starbucks to shame! I am not exagerating. We have been to 2 and they were so nice we made the time last after finishing the delicious cappuccino, American coffee (strong and tasty, by the way) and apple struddle by reading the newspaper and listening to great background music. We have been
Lenin: the world's most famous mummy
He still looks pretty good, particularly since he has been dead for 83 years!! It was Stalin's idea to keep him on display forever but his wishes was to be burried by his Mom.
wondering if Mc Cafe have opened in other countries but we are certain that the concept is way too nice for the average American Mc Donald's clients.
Eating was best at buffet type restaurants for the locals, where we could just point to the food we wanted and could try different dishes.
Enough writting! Just enjoy the pictures and to see all, click on "2"or next, below.
Please be well & in touch.
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