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10th May. The Master and Moscow

May 10, 2013

10th May. The Master and Moscow.
I mentioned earlier that 9th May is their Victory day, like our Anzac Day. Unfortunately the Kremlin and Red Square was closed the day before and on the 9th. The dates that were to be our sightseeing days. Instead, on the 8th, we took a cruise along the Moscow River taking in the sights. It was a beautiful warm spring day and the Muscovites were out enjoying the sun afer what must be a long winter for them. There was no commentary but were able to work out most of what was happening.
Yesterday it was to be a hop on hop off bus tour around the city. Again we were thwarted as the bus pickup point had been barriered off due to the march and was now a scene of 20-30 buses that had brought the servicemen to take part in the procession. But we were in a goood position to see the tanks, APCs and soldiers passing by and also the fly past of the might of the Soviet air force with some of the planes shooting out a spectacular display of incendiiary devices as well as trailing smoke in the Russian colours. We met a young Muscovite there who spoke good English and explained to us why the locals are more reserved and can be seen as off hand. Will take what I said before back.
Made it to the bus stand after the parade and waited for 40 miinutes only for a bloke to come along and inform us the tours had been cancelled due to so many blocked off streets. A nuisance but the parade had been unexpected and was good to be in a crowd of locals paying homage to their war dead.
Red Square was a short walk away, it was closed off but you still could get near St Basils Cathedral with is conglomeration of multi coloured spires and domes
I mentioned the book I was reading in an earlier post,’ The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov. The book is a satire of the Stalin era, very amusing and one of the few books I am reading a second time. Bulgakov’s last apartment has now become a museum where we spent an absorbing hour with Irene who explained to us so much of his life. The signs are all in Russian only and we would have been struggling to make out what we were looking at. Later we went around the corner to Patriachs Ponds, the scene in the opening of the book. We spent an hour there deliberately not talking to strangers. There was even a sign there showing the three evil characters with a warning underneath in Russian ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’ The park surrounding the pond was filled with young people and many perambulators being pushed by proud young parents and a grandfather pushing twins. He circumnavigated the pond at least four times. Nearby is the theatre where Woland gave his revue. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, II suggest reading the book. Thanks Jann for picking it for Book Club.
So the day, instead of being wasted ended up as one of the highlights of the trip.
The Metro here is good, a little difficult as the signs at the stations are only in Russian. But the map of the underground has the stations in English as well. By the tiime we leave today we will bbe pretty accomplished metroites.

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One Comment
  1. Elaine & Rex permalink

    Wow what a trip you guys, the photos are amazing, such a different way to see the world love Elaine & Rex

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