Moscow, Russia

August 26, 2013

The high-speed train from St. Petersburg to Moscow lived up to its name.  We made the trip in 4 hours at 200 KPH.  Of course, we arrived at 11:00 AM on Saturday in a torrential down pour that has been par for the course whenever we change cities and have limited time available to take photographs and see the sights.  But, since we had started our day at 4:00 AM, we didn’t mind being forced to stay in the hotel most of the day to nap and plan our or sightseeing “Strategy”.  When the weather did clear, we headed directly to Red Square.  Red square is 900 feet long and 210 feet wide.  It separates the Kremlin from the commercial center of Moscow. The name comes from the Russian word meaning “beautiful”.  The square was packed with Muscovites and tourists out for a stroll.  The square has the Kremlin and Lenin’s tomb on the east, Gum department store on the west, St. Basil Cathedral on the south and Resurrection Gate on the north.  It was truly an impressive sight on a monumental scale.  In fact, everything we have seen in Russia has been on a monumental scale.  To see the Kremlin wall and to remember the military parades held in Red Square to demonstrate Russia’s Communist military power was somewhat “chilling”.  It also brought back memories from my early childhood, not Rita’s, where we would get under our desks at school as a drill to prepare us for a nuclear attack by the Communists.

Yesterday on Sunday, August 25th, we awoke to cloudy skies, but at least no rain. After breakfast, we went to TSUM Department store. TSUM dates from 1908 and carries over 1000 luxury named goods from designers from all over the world.  We have really never seen anything like it, even in New York or Las Vegas.  The prices of shoes, dresses, clothes etc. are beyond all, but the super rich. Next, we visited St. Basil Cathedral, a beautiful Orthodox Church with nine separate chapels each with its own colorful dome. Ivan the Terrible built the church in 1550.  Ivan got his name by “inspiring fear”, not because he was “bad”.  Our last stop was Gum Department store, which is almost 200 years old.  It is similar to its competitor TSUM, but is aimed at a consumer level slightly below the super rich.  GUM’s had 1200 separate “stalls” at one time.  There are not that many separate stores currently, but it does have three stories and is over a quarter of a kilometer long, which is the length of three football fields.  Rather amazing…

Last night, we celebrated our visit to Moscow by eating at Cafe Pushkin, an institution open since 1999 that is on every “TOP 10” lists of places to eat in Moscow.  The place looks like a scene out of Dr. Zhivago and is in an 1825 aristocrat’s home.  It was a WOW dinner.  We had Kir Royal cocktails, home made baked meat pie appetizers called Pierogis, which are breads filled with lamb and beef, home made Russian chicken noodle soup, which had whole pieces of chicken in it and quail eggs, Chicken Kiev, and Pork Brisket with sauerkraut, Sancerre wine and flaming crème brûlée and éclairs for dessert.  We are still talking about last night’s dinner this morning.

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Today, we are off to tour the Kremlin. More on that and other things later.

Love you and miss you all!!

Norm & Rita

Here are a few pictures from Moscow.

You can buy this and many other wonderful gourmet items at Tsum.

You can buy this and many other wonderful gourmet items at Tsum.

Tsum Department store of Moscow

Tsum Department store of Moscow

GUM Department store in Moscow. Three levels of great shopping!

GUM Department store in Moscow. Three levels of great shopping!

First floor of GUM

First floor of GUM

Different levels in GUM

Different levels in GUM

These would make a great pair of shoes to the "Night before the INDY 500 race party"!!

These would make a great pair of shoes to the “Night before the INDY 500 race party”!!

Kazan Cathedral

Kazan Cathedral

Resurrection Gate - The only gate to Red Square.

Resurrection Gate – The only gate to Red Square.

Spasskaya tower in Red Square

Kassaya tower in Red Square

Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre

St. Basil Church

St. Basil Church

There are nine separate chapels under each of these nine onion bulb like spirals.

There are nine separate chapels under each of these nine onion bulb like domes.

View of the Kremiln and the cathedrals from across the Moscow river

View of the Kremiln and the cathedrals from across the Moscow river

 

 

 

 

 

Then we saw some interesting people!!!

And then what's with these two??? Can you name them???

And then what’s with these two??? Can you name them???

Azar's Big Boy!!

Azar’s Big Boy!!

Can you believe that Putin waived to me???

Can you believe that Putin waved to me???

This bridge leads right into the Cathedral of Christ our Saviour.

This bridge leads right into the Cathedral of Christ our Saviour.

Cathedral of Christ our Saviour

Cathedral of Christ our Saviour

Coyote Ugly.. they love America!

Coyote Ugly.. they love America!

This place does get hoppin!

This place does get hoppin!

3 thoughts on “Moscow, Russia

  1. I LOVE the picture of Dad eating Borscht!! He made me eat it at the Russian Tea Room…he told ME that I must eat the typical Russian food there…but I love beets! I also caught up on the other photos you posted…WOW!!!…the Temppeliaukio Church and Kamppi Chapel…THANK you for taking pictures andposting these…LOVE them…exquisite…never heard of them before. So glad I know of them now!! Love you guys!

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    • Angela, I remember the Russian Tea Room. You also tasted vodka that night. And, you told the family next to us at our table that your favorite things to see in New York were Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Sak’s 5th Avenue when their 8 year old had just finished telling us that her favorite things to see were the Guggenheim, Lincoln Center and MOMA!!!! Your DAD!!

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