May 5, 2008 - Around The World, Day 10 - Moscow

We wake up early the next morning for our tour of Moscow, which starts at the Kremlin.
Some of the flower displays on the way spell out Moscow (far left of the pic) and show St. Basil's Cathedral.

Inside the Kremlin walls, we see some amazing architecture. Far right is Borovitskaya Tower. Middle is Cathedral of Christ the Savior (which was rebuilt after Parastroika). To the left is the Water Tower. The two red towers are/were Kremlin gates.
There are so many cool buildings in Moscow!
We started the tour in the armory, which houses basically every crown, carriage, and coronation robe from every Russian ruler. I'm still amazed that they saved everything - and that they didn't desecrate one carraige/crown to build the next. They just have so many natural resources, being by far the largest country in the world.
After the armory (which also displays weapons, faberge eggs, etc), we check out the Jewel rooms, which display several lumps of gold, platinum, and other metals. Also, there were so many diamonds of all shapes and sizes, but all seemed perfectly clear.

The Grand Kremlin Palace.

Side view of one of the the Annunciation cathedrals.


Ivan The Great Bell Tower Complex - check out the varying sizes of bells!

The Tsar's Cannon.
It was never fired, but it supposedly scared away several armies before they attacked.
We didn't hear which armies...

Another of the Kremlin's imposing gates - Trinity Tower.

Outside the Kremlin, we head towards Red Square.
To the right is Arsenal Tower. To the right is a museum.

Across the street from our hotel, we check out a cool statue.

Check out "Atalanta."

The May 9th Victory Day parade is only 4 days away.
We see lots of groups practicing.

Inside Red Square (looking back at the museum, which only looks like it has snow on the rooflines).

Looking forward to St. Basil's Cathedral (with GUM on the left and Lenin's tomb covered by the large display on the right).

GUM, a large, very upscale mall.

May 9, 1945 - the day the Russians single-handedly defeated the Germans, according to our guide, who acknowledged that the USA played a supporting part.
(This was also months before they declared war on Japan, though Olga didn't know Japan was in the war).

Savior's Tower, a now-closed gate between Red Square and the Kremlin.
Check out that wall.

St. Basil's.

Putin's private flag, flying over his office and the Senate in the Kremlin.

More troops practicing.

To Russians, parades are just military.
No floats, no ballons, just military might.

GUM in the background.

A small cathedral re-built after the Communists Socialists destroyed them.
That was another thing that really impressed me - that they've managed to rebuild so many buildings over the last decade or so.

The dot represents the center of Moscow, from which all distances are measured.

Watching the locals, we figure out you're supposed to spin around a few times and try to throw a coin north.
We didn't try it. We went back to the hotel for a nap.

Original itinerary:
5/5/2008 - Moscow