Яussia* (Day 14, Part 1)

June 9

Moscow

We finally made it to the capital city – hoping for high tea with Vladimir . . . 

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[The outskirts of the city – a tight squeeze, but both boats made it . . . ]

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[The Moscow Canal, named the Moskva-Volga Canal until 1947, is a canal that connects the Moskva River with the Volga River. It is located in Moscow itself and in the Moscow Oblast (Wikipedia).]

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[A beautiful morning for cruising the canal with Mimosa in hand . . . ]

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[Looks like the final lock ahead . . . ]

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[A bridge to somewhere under construction . . . ]

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[The excitement builds among the passengers . . . ]

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[A final lesson from our crack guides . . . ]

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[Sasha is always a good one to warm up the crowd . . . ]

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[We have to start teaching this again in our own country . . . ]

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[Reaching the exurbs . . . ]

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[If the Russian economy is struggling, it wasn’t apparent amidst all the new construction going on . . . ]

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[Nice day, if a tad chilly for the 2nd week in June . . . ]

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[Carb up before the march into the city . . . ]

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[OK, a little vino doesn’t hurt either . . . ]

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[We’ve docked and are now . . . ]

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[Off and hiking to one of the world’s great subway systems . . . ]

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[Passing a few artifacts along the way . . . ]

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[We’re at the subway!  ATM’s can be problematic anywhere . . . ]

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[And here we go . . . ]

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[Pam and Tom lead the way through the turnstiles . . . ]

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[The Moscow Metro opened in 1935 with one 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) line and 13 stations, it was the first underground railway system in the Soviet Union. As of 2018, the Moscow Metro has 222 stations and its route length is 379.1 km (235.6 mi), making it the sixth longest in the world. The system is mostly underground, with the deepest section 84 metres (276 ft) underground at the Park Pobedy station, one of the world’s deepest (Wikipedia).]

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[Long distances between stations have the positive effect of a high cruising speed of 41.7 kilometres per hour (25.9 mph). The minimum interval between trains is 90 seconds during the morning and evening rush hours. (This is amazing!) As of 2017 the system had an average daily ridership of 6.99 million passengers. Peak daily ridership of 9.71 million was recorded on 26 December 2014.  Free Wi-Fi has been available on all lines of the Moscow Metro since 1 December 2014 (Wikipedia).]

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[One train just left – but here comes another!]

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[The downtown stations, of course, are also known for their artwork . . . ]

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[Art museums themselves . . . ]

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[As our guide explains it all to us . . . ]

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[Mosaics . . . ]

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[Amazing stuff . . . ]

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[We weren’t in any hurry to leave the system . . . ]

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[But tried not to get tampled by the 7 million daily riders . . . ]

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[Another long escalator ride to . . . ]

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[More art . . . ]

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[The Super found a friend . . . ]

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[Or two . . . ]

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[And we’re up and out at – a beer restaurant?]

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[Just outside our subway stop in the vicinity of Red Square.  The building in the background to the right of the carousel is the Bolshoi Ballet Theatre . . . ]

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[The Super found another friend . . . ]

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[Gathering for our walkabout instructions.  We would be free to wander wherever we wanted meeting later at a designated time and place . . . ]

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[Ready, set, go . . . ]

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[We would eventually make our way to the Bolshoi . . . ]

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[But first, the Four Seasons Hotel . . . ]

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[Though the Bolshoi never leaves our sight . . . ]

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[Good Wine Bar – who’da thunk?]

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[On Manezhnaya Square, the City Duma in the foreground; the State History Museum in the background . . . ]

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[Resurrection Gate, the main gate into Red Square, between the Duma and the History Museum . . . ]

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[The Duma (City Hall) . . . ]

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[Panning Manezhnaya Square, the front of the Four Seasons Hotel on the right . . . ]

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[The State History Museum at Manezhnaya Square . . . ]

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[With the statue of Marshal Georgy Zhukov.  In recognition of Zhukov’s role in World War II, he was chosen to personally take the German Instrument of Surrender and to inspect the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 (Wikipedia).]

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[The Super leads us toward Red Square . . . ]

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[And we’re in!  Here’s the Kazan Cathedral . . . ]

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[In Red Square with GUM on the left.  GUM is the main department store in many cities of the former Soviet Union, known as State Department Store.  The most famous GUM is the large store in the Kitai-gorod part of Moscow facing Red Square. It is currently a shopping mall (Wikipedia).]

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[On the right, the Kremlin wall.  Reminder again – the FIFA World Cup was just days away so lots of contruction going on . . . ]

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[Nikolskaya Street, next to GUM, with the hanging lights . . . ]

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[Spasskaya Tower, the Kremlin’s clock tower . . . ]

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[Apparently a tourist hotel on Red Square?]

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[The Super enjoying Nikolskaya Street . . . ]

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[As were many others . . . ]

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[We entered GUM ISO ice cream!]

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[Your guess is as good a mine?]

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[Exiting GUM . . . ]

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[Sidewalk cafes outside GUM . . . ]

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[GUM has been around a while . . . ]

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[And now the star attraction on Red Square – St. Basil’s Cathedral.  The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is one of the most popular symbols of the country. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat or Pokrovsky Cathedral.  It was built from 1555–1561 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. It was the city’s tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600 (Wikipedia).]

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[A good backdrop for modeling . . . ]

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[5 from the Super in Red Square . . . ]

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[And 5 from me in Red Square . . . ]

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[And the clock tower again . . . ]

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[And GUM . . . ]

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[Pam displays in front of St. Basil’s . . . ]

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[The entranceway to the Red Square through the Resurrection Gate from the side of Tverskaya street and Manezhnaya Square is historically considered to be the front gate of the city.  It is no exaggeration to say that any modern traveller to Moscow passes through this gate. The Resurrection Gate arch establishes a visual link between two other remarkable buildings – the State Historical Museum and the Museum of the War of 1812, while the small chapel by the gate houses one of the most venerated icons – the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. Right in front of the gate there is the “Kilometer Zero sign – this is the centre of Moscow and the starting point for measuring all distances in Russia (moscovery.com).]

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[And as the Super demonstrates, this is where tourists stop and make a wish throwing a coin over their shoulders . . . ]

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[Strolling outside Red Square . . . ]

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[Outside the Kremlin Wall . . . ]

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[To the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier . . . ]

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[The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a war memorial, dedicated to the Soviet soldiers killed during World War II.  It is located at the Kremlin Wall in Alexander Garden (Wikipedia).]

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[Looking back out at the Four Seasons Hotel . . . ]

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[Leaving the Tomb of the Unknown . . . ]

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[Back out onto Manezhnaya Square, where will next begin Part 2 of the same day . . . ]

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To Moscow, to Moscow, to Moscow!  ~  Anton  Chekhov

Up Next: Moscow . . .

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