Яussia* (Day 16, Part 2)

June 11

Moscow

[We’ve finished lunch, now it was time to finish our stroll through Zaryadye Park and ahead is the “floating bridge” . . .]

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[View of the floating bridge, the Moskva River, and the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building . . . ]

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[“Green” landscaping abounds . . . ]

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[And what’s a park without flowers?]

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[Including a flower hosting a bee . . . ]

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[We approach the floating bridge . . . ]

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[A glimpse of the park’s amphitheater over the berm . . . ]

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[The walkway to the floating bridge . . . ]

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[The floating bridge is a thin air structure in the form of the letter “V” with a large outward extension above the water. It towers over the embankment and seems to hover over the Moscow River.  The bridge is unique in Russia: it is a 70 meter structure without a single support. The bearing structure of the bridge is made of concrete, and the decorative elements are made of metal. The deck is wooden; the construction withstands a load of 240 tons corresponding to 3–4 thousand people (Wikipedia).]

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[In the foreground, folks coming off the bridge . . . ]

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[And coming on from the other side . . . ]

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[A collective WOW from the Super and Tom . . . ]

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[Again, the view of Moskva river and Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building . . . ]

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[And here looking directly across the river . . . ]

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[And in the other direction, the Kremlin . . . ]

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[This looks like one of the Google posted photos . . . ]

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[Sightseeing boats (remember our Moscow by night adventure?) . . . ]

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[Just, the view . . . ]

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[From the tip of the vee, looking back into the park . . . ]

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[The Super rises above the throngs for a shot of the Kremlin . . . ]

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[Straight down the river on the city side . . . ]

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[In 2018, Time magazine put Zaryadye Park . . . ]

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[On 2018 list of World’s Greatest Places.]

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[Yup, it’s gotta be right up there . . . ]

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[The glass crust cover of the amphitheater . . . ]

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[Think I’ll hop up on this bench . . . ]

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[I do not know who photobombed behind the soccer ball . . . ]

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[Now it’s time to walk to the Kremlin for our scheduled tour . . . ]

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[Along the way this woman asked us if we were Americans.  Is it that obvious?]

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[So she chatted with us along way.  She was a Russian journalist here to cover the World Cup.  I think her name was Maria.  We should have visited longer . . . ]

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[And photo by Pam . . . ]

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[OK, here’s the Kremlin wall.  Now, how do we get in?]

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[It turned out to be a longer hike than we thought.  Here Tom stops to ponder the efficacy of climbing over the wall – either that or he’s playing the role of a prison escapee.]

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[Ah, we found Vladimir again . . . ]

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[Emperor Alexander I of Russia . . . ]

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[The staging area for the assault on the Kremlin entrance gate.  Tom taking advantage of one of the few places to take a load off . . . ]

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[Pam going ISO our guided tour group . . . ]

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[The assault has begun . . . ]

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[And here’s our lollipop leader . . . ]

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[Amidst other lollipop group leaders.  Yes, we’re going enmasse up those steps.  I believe it would take forever to try to buy a ticket and go through solo.  Even with this many people, the groups actually entered rather quickly . . . ]

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[And, we’re in!]

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[Looking back at where we came in, and to know the way out . . . ]

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[Familiar sightings ahead from the Red Square side – the clock tower and St. Basil’s.]

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[The entrance/exit gate . . . ]

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[Annunciation Cathedral in the background . . . ]

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[Our statuesque guide had to stop and gather her slower moving minions on occasion . . . ]

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[Now that’s a spired tower.]

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[Kremlin arsenal . . . ]

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[Cathedral of the Archangel . . . ]

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[Putin’s office is the one under the central arch.  I was amazed at the visible lack of security?]

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[The Tsar cannon with the Annunciation Cathedral in the background . . . ]

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[The Tsar Cannon is a large early modern periodartillery piece (known as a bombarda in Russian).  It is a monument of Russian artillery casting art, cast in bronze in 1586 in Moscow. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never used in a war. However, the cannon bears traces of at least one firing. Per the Guinness Book of Records it is the largest bombard by caliber in the world, and it is a major tourist attraction in the ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin (Wikipedia).]

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[Annunciation Cathedral in the background; Assumption Cathedral in the foreground . . . ]

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[Looking down the barrel, Assumption Cathedral on the left; Patriarch’s Palace (Church of the 12 Apostles) on the right . . . ]

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[The Tsar (or Royal) Bell is located between the Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Kremlin Wall. Made of bronze, the bell cracked during a fire after being completed and has never been rung. The bell is the largest bell in the world, weighing 201,924 kilograms (445,166 lb), with a height of 6.14 metres (20.1 ft) and diameter of 6.6 metres (22 ft), and thickness of up to 61 centimetres (24 in). The broken piece weighs 11,500 kilograms (25,400 lb) (Wikipedia).]

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[Honestly, I didn’t break it!]

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[That’s some bell!]

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[Now entering Cathedral Square, most of the cathedrals we have already seen from outside the square . . . ]

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[This way in – Moscow, the city, on the far side . . . ]

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[Assumption and Patriarch’s . . . ]

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[And lots of tourists just generally milling around . . . ]

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[Annunciation and the Super . . . ]

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[360 degrees of photo ops (Archangel Cathedral in the backgound) . . . ]

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[Our guide readies us for an assault on Archangel Cathedral . . . ]

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[The Super and I decided to sit outside in the great weather . . . ]

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[And these two young ladies made folly of the usual static selfie!]

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[With a vertical free standing selfie-stick . . . ]

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[The door to Assumption Cathedral . . . ]

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[A great photo op backdrop . . . ]

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[Amongst the cathedrals was this building.  I know it was discussed – maybe something to do with the exterior design or material.  But I couldn’t find anything on it?]

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[Back to the unique Assumption door . . . ]

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[On the right, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the tallest structure on the square . . . ]

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[And here comes our group . . . ]

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[And now back out through the gardens . . . ]

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[Leaving Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Tsar bell . . . ]

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[Way out, you know, the exit.  Our guide is either shooting us . . . ]

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[Or maybe a selfie . . . ]

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[We’re on the bus heading back to the ship, past some familiar sights . . . ]

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[And back on board, the last supper . . . ]

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[“Weakie,” it’s only appropriate we wrap up with foodies.  We head for Minnesota via Paris in the morning . . . ]

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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  ~  Mark Twain

Up Next:  Ta-ta, Russia!

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