2 hours up, 2 hours down.  Crazy way to log sleep hours but by noon Saturday, had successfully completed the process 🙁

Met Dima & his wife Natasha in my hotel lobby; super excited to see Russia’s capital city.  Have metro ticket, will travel.

Whole lotta marble.  Metro stations in Moscow arguably are among the world’s most ornate.  Early Communists pillaged the country’s cathedrals & imperial buildings and moved its art, marble & statues to where the people could see & enjoy.

Marathon bib pick-up at Luzhniki Stadium (site of the 1980 Summer Olympics).  Next up: Red Square.

Haven’t been to Russia since my expat assignment ended in 1999.  (if ever I ever) Two places I wanted to revisit: Moscow’s Red Square & the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.  Winter Palace, another trip, another time – but today, Red Square would be reality.

Passed by make-shift kiosks celebrating Harvest Festival, temporarily stationed in front of the State Historical Museum.  The museum, a massive 18th century crimson structure (commissioned by Peter the Great), creates the northwest corner of Red Square.  Walked the brick cobblestone between the Museum & Nikolskaya Tower, one of multiple towers which surround the Kremlin.

In Russia, a “kremlin” is a Russian town’s fortified stronghold, and Moscow’s was built in the 1150’s with a low, wooden wall. It now features high red brick walls 2.25 km long, with Red Square on the eastern side.

Can’t believe I’m really here — Red Square.  WOW, WOW, WOW!

St. Basil’s Cathedral straight ahead, Lenin’s Tomb & Spasskaya Tower to my right, GUM (State Department Store) forms the Square’s left edge.  Each May Day, the Soviet Union would flex their military strength, parading tanks in front of the Communist nation’s supreme leader.  That’s the history portrayed by American media, influencing our collective history – just as Russian media structured their peoples’ views.  Fair & balanced?  Certain WW2 battles never made our history books…Germany’s Eastern Front/Russia’s Great Patriotic War. Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin & Valentina Tereshkova both orbited space before the U.S. moon landing.  Musicians, like singer Alla Pugacheva, mega-stars/multimillionaires completely unknown to us.  Hmmm.

Chilly September day, glad I brought my coat.  After snapping shots at each landmark, retreated inside GUM, warmed up & completed my souvenir shopping – matryoshka [Russian nesting] dolls for all 🙂

Tomorrow a.m. running my first marathon outside North America.  But tonite, I’ll continue to cat-nap (2 hours on, 2 hours off) & watch Russian TV – game shows, reality, crime dramas & the Voice.  Sadly, our countries are really not that different.

 

 

 

Moscow Revisited 2016

 

 

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