Monday, November 06, 2006

Russia With Love -- Moscow I -- Day One

These are pictures we took on our first day in Russia. It was a Moscow tour, included as a part of our Viking Russian River Cruise Tour. [note: this morning I have clarrified the Novodevichy Convent (write-up) below.].

I will apologize for some of the poorer quality, some were taken from the window of a moving bus, others used telephoto mode, and various other excuses.

For more detail, you can click on any picture for a full screen view. Use your back button to return to the blog.
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This was our first bus stop for a photo shoot. Russia has churches all over the place, Moscow is no exception. This one is the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Isn't it elegant?

It was built to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon in 1812. .Construction was started in 1839 and was completed in the 1880s.
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This monument in the middle of the Volga River, a gigantic (300ft tall) new monument to Peter the Great is truly awesome.
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Single and approaching age twenty-six? Better get married off fast or you'll get sent here! That was in the old days and included even the royalty and ladies from high-ranking families. That's why it's so big!

Here I'm standing at the edge of the lake, across from a huge old convent, the Novodevichy Convent (write-up). It was founded in 1524 to commemorate the 1514 victory for Moscow [Smolensk those days] from the Polish and Lithuanians. It has been a World Heritage UNESCO site since 2004.
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Our next bus stop was across from this Olympic Stadium, used for the 1994 Olympics. Most Americans didn't get to see those games because we boycotted it and did not allow it to be televised. Mrs. Jim, Karen, and I did get to see it because we were in Europe and they all were going for the Olympics gung ho.
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Across from the Sports Complex is the main building of Moscow University. From the 1930s through the 1950s high rise buildings were the favored architecture. They were of high artistic quality and is now called Neo-classical style. A lot of these type buildings are still in use today.
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The tourist season was just closing. These die-hard vendors were having a last stand. The background here is along the river, just to the left of the Sports Complex.

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Most major European cities have some sort of Arch de Triumph (Paris) or the like. Also notable is Berlin's (photo link) which was used as 'Check Point Charley' during the cold war.
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Our next item was a ride in the famed Moscow Metro (mostly subway). In Houston ex-Congressman Tom Delay prevented us from ever having a nice public transportation system in the Houston metro area. We have jillions of busses that pollute and break down instead.

The Moscow Metro's first line was started in 1932, construction has been ongoing ever since. Today the Moscow Metro covers over 200 kilometers of track and serves 9 million people each day (reference).
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Getting to the Metro from the picture above one must get on this escalator. It is the longest escalator in the world. It's a wonder Texas didn't figure out how to have a bigger one.

At the bottom of every escalator there was a guard in a little house watching out for problems. [A link to some nice Metro pictures]
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You wouldn't believe how clean these terminals are! Drop your gum and you'll pick it up of course [KGB might be watching?] and maybe be thinking the five second rule.***
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I couldn't find the name of this mural and didn't even get very close. Mostly I didn't want our train to come and be left behind down there.

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I did get back in time for this fine ride. The cars were almost as spotless as the station. No graffiti anyplace either!
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This station had chandeliers. The motiff and lights were different at each stop we made.

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More modern than most of the art we found in the Metro, these guys and other sports figures were repeated all over this station.
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We are back above ground now. Our next visit that first morning would be to Red Square and the G.U.M. department store.
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*** The five-second rule states that if dropped food is on the floor less than five seconds it is safe to eat (or dropped gum, to put back in your mouth and resume chewing). This rule can also involve dogs, if dropped food can be picked up before the dog gets it, it will be safe to eat.

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Note: We began our visit on October 15, 2006, but I did not have my camera set for Moscow time the first day. Some pictures will say October 14 in error.

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Comments:
Wow Neighbor- You are one busy fella always on the go to here and there.

The pictures are nice. I have never been to Russia, bet the weather was cold eh?
 
Thanks for the wonderful tour. I would love to tour Russia (it is my husband's homeland) but your photos will do for now.
 
Loved them all Jim. You and the Mrs. are a lucky couple.
The single and 26 with you in the picture had me doubting your veracity for a moment.
 
Hi Jim..Thanks for the visit,no need to worry or prayfor me.
"But it's nice to know you would".
Great photos of you trip,nice shots of Mrs Jim at the "MET"and
yourself at the lake.
I think the shot of"Cathedral of Christ the Saviour"was myfavourite.
 
Gday Jim and Mrs Jim.
My Sisterinlaw has just returned from a holiday over there and was telling me all about Her trip to Russia and bingo come over to your site and here are the pics.
Beautifull photo's off Russia I dont have to move from my chair to see the world.Take care
 
cool pictures
 
Beautiful photos Jim, a great trip that you will never forget.

Take care xx
 
Great pictures Jim! All those buildings are so pretty. Thanks for giving me a tour of a place I'll probably never get to visit.
 
Wow Jim...very interesting! I'm sure I'll never make it there so I appreciate the virtual tour.
 
Really great pictures and commentary. Russia looks nice..
 

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