Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Russia -1

Hi, Ruthe and I returned last week from a river cruise in Russia that took us from Moscow to St. Petersburg. We arrived in Moscow on Friday, 8/12 after an overnight flight from Dulles Airport near Washington, DC. Friends Jim and Ila Beck also took the cruise. Activities began on Saturday.

I purchased a new camera for the trip, a Sony DSC HX100V as I was tired of carrying my heavy digital single lens reflex camera. The Sony weighs a little over a pound. It proved easy to operate after a short learning period and I am pleased with it. I took all of the photos using one of the "point and shoot" modes on the camera.

On Saturday morning, after breakfast, I photographed this tour boat,

and this smaller river boat from our ship.

An overview, city tour was provided on Saturday. One of the most interesting stops was at St. Basils Cathedral.

From this point there also were views of the Kremlin wall.

We then walked to Red Square where we saw the main gate to the Kremlin. Unfortunately, the square was being set up with stands for a military tattoo to be held after we left.

We were now given about an hour to wander around and do what we wished. The inside of St. Basils could be visited but Ruthe, Jim and I elected first to look at the inside of the GUM Store. This is the Russian idea of a department store. We would call this a mall. Either way, it is very upscale.

We then left the area to find the war memorial where we would view the changing of the guard which occurs on the hour. On our way we passed this church. We would see numerous churches, large and small, like this during our trip.

We passed through the main gate of Red Square

on our way to the War Memorial.

The guard has now changed. In deference to the warm day the new guards do not have uniform jackets. The soldier marching without a jacket is probably the corporal of the guard as he came in with the new guards and left with the old ones. Note how the rifle is balanced in the left hand when the right leg comes up in the goose step.

The double eagle is the crest for Russia.

On our way back to rejoin the group we passed a spot designated as the center of the world, according to our guide. People come here and toss coins over their shoulders for good luck. Here a bride and groom are performing the ritual.

We used the Metro to get from Red Square to Old Arbat Street where we had lunch on our own.

This is the center of the platform at Red Square. The tracks are on the other sides of the walls.

This is part of the street level area near Old Arbat Street.

Old Arbat Street featured numerous shops and restaurants, as well as performers and street vendors.

This young man was very passionate about something but it was all in Russian.

Official buildings constructed during the Stalin era were very ornate.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

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