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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain


RUSSIAN FEDERATION | Sunday, 23 August 2015 | Views [186]

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

NEWS REPORTS FROM MOSCOW ALWAYS made it seem that Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral were all part of the Kremlin.  Not so.  Actually the word “kremlin” refers to a wall surrounding a settlement, quite common in Russia.  The Kremlin isn’t the same as the White House either that would be the Senate building where Vladimir Putin and his predecessors conduct the business of the country.  And while we’re at it, the “red” in Red Square doesn’t refer to communism or the color of the Kremlin wall; red means beautiful in Russian.


    St. Basil Cathedral at night (photo of photo)

No matter, the area was packed on Sunday afternoon as our group began our city tour.  The highlight, of course, was the signature landmark of Moscow, St. Basil’s with its colorful domes standing in all its glory against the darkening clouds.  Red Square was cordoned off in preparation for a military tattoo later in the week, bottle-necking everyone towards the famous GUM Department store., selling everything a Russian could want, but few can afford.

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  Kremlin wall and clock tower                  GUM Department Store

Sunday is a good day for a bus tour of the city, free from the maddening weekday traffic.  Natasha pointed out notable buildings, statues of Puskin and Dostoevsky, more domed churches and monasteries as we criss-crossed the river.  The architecture isn’t as classical as Prague or Vienna but isn’t as communist as we thought it would be, either.


   Soviet architecture


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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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