Kay’s Russian Travel Adventure

The tour guides travel on the ship with you. While cruising, you get a lot of history of the country and its people about each port you visit. River cruising is offered in just about all countries throughout the world.  On my cruise, about 3/4ths of the people were repeat river cruisers. That says a lot.  River cruising is for the adventurous traveler as there is lots of sightseeing and walking.

We visited Moscow and noticed most people live in hi-rise apartment buildings.  You can definitely tell the difference between the buildings built during the Communist days and the ones built more recently.  The city is very crowded with people driving and parking wherever they found room.  I’m glad I was in a big bus.  The US fast food industry is present in Moscow.  We saw a Subway Sandwich shop and a Starbucks.  We rode their Metro (subway) to Red Square.  This is one of the most beautiful Metro systems in the world.  It houses beautiful works of art and a large mosaic on one of the walls of some of the Czars.  This was the cleanest and most beautiful Metro station I have ever seen.  At the South end of Red Square is St Basil’s Cathedral, which is the symbol of Moscow and is the oldest building in the square.  We also visited GUM, Russia’s famous department store, which is just off the square.  In front of the Kremlin Wall, Lenin’s Mausoleum looms dark red and black.

We visited the Kremlin which was the headquarters of the Communist regime; today it is home to the Russian President and his government.  The Kremlin contains churches, monasteries, government buildings and barracks.  We visited Cathedral Square which is surrounded by 5 churches with onion domes.  The Bell Tower of Ivan the Great is also located on Cathedral Square.  The Czar Bell is reputedly the largest bell ever to be cast, but it lies on the ground, flawed when a piece broke off during cooling.

The New Cemetery, established in 1898, is gaining a reputation as the most venerated burial ground in Moscow.  We saw gravesites of many of Russia’s most celebrated composers, directors, writers, poets, cosmonauts, and gravesites dedicated to Nikita Khrushchev, his wife and Lenin.  I could have spent a lot more time there.

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