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Boxing Day (By Alex)

by on July 23, 2017

Last night, there was a boxing match in the Red Square. There were lots of flashy lights.

The GUM also looked very pretty at night (almost Main Street U.S.A-ish).


Today, we did a driving tour of Moscow with a guide.  Our first stop was a statue in a garden, of the sins that adults put upon children.  It was very strange.


It was interesting seeing their representation of concepts in real life. The most interesting was war. Look closer at the grenade.


I bet that the Disney corporation would love that Mickey has been added to a grenade in Russia.

Our next stop was the bridge with love locks. I was glad that they had ‘trees’ instead of being directly on the bridge.

However, I still do not understand the purpose of love locks. They tend to be symbolic, but they seem unnecessary and a waste of money. They also theoretically could be considered vandalism.

The bridge also had a flower heart that could get the award for tackiest thing in the world (even passing the Weird Al song that is called ‘Tacky.’). I guess people get wedding photos taken here.  


Our next stop was the Church of Christ the Savior… the home cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church.  This was originally built to honor the people who died as a result of the War of 1812 (NOT the American one, the Russian and French one).


There were lots of creepy street hawkers dressed in furry character outfits outside who were caressing and stroking the hair of tourists (it was as weird as it sounds). They then ask for $20 USD for hugging you, more if you take a photo. However, they can not enforce this, as it is illegal to do this. Anna almost got caressed, but Aunt Ginny pulled her away.  This really bugs me.. why do they do this?


The inside of the church was very pretty. It was incredibly ornate. We were there during a mass, and again ran into a guy from Walnut Creek who we met at the show that we were at yesterday. It was surprising at how empty the head church of the Orthodox Religion was. Our tour guide estimates that 5% or less (maybe even less than 1%) of Russians actively go to a sermon for their religion on a regular basis.

After that, we went to a very prestigious graveyard. Many famous Soviets are buried there, including Gorbachev’s wife. Andrei Tupolev (founder of the Tupolev aircraft company) is also buried there. I will now include some photos from the graveyard.
This is Tupolev


This is Stalin’s wife… she committed suicide but he went to see her grave every day.

One person that we found that reminded us of Uncle John is John Beaver Marks, a former member of the South African Communist Party.


Boris Yeltsin also is buried here.

Our second to last stop was the Moscow Victory Square. It had a cool, thin, and tall (but not particularly structurally sound) obelisk.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by the Russian White House, the house of the Russian Government. It is incredibly pretty.  This is the place where Yeltsin gave a speech on the top of a tank, to stop a coup


The place where we stopped was very close to the Ukraine Hotel (now a Radisson). The Radisson had a diorama of Soviet Moscow. It was interesting seeing what has changed since then, and what has not.



After lunch, we got ice cream at GUM that uses the same recipe as the Soviet times. 

We got caramel, vanilla, strachiatella, and strawberry. I liked the vanilla the best, and strawberry a close second. All of them had a weird taste, due to the strictness of the Soviet laws regarding ice cream. (Note from Renee:  the way you get ice cream here is it comes in the cone from the factory.   No double scoops they just hand you a cone .   Price was great at about $.80 per cone)


To finish off our day, we saw the inside of the St. Basil Cathedral.There are small ‘churches’ under each dome. As a result, it felt like a reverse Tardis. Massive on the outside, tiny on the inside.



I did not like the inside, especially since each ‘church’ had only 2/3 of the room able to be walked in for religious reasons (1/3 is blocked off).

We have an early morning tomorrow, so we are going to bed now. This is what we did today.

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One Comment
  1. Janet Howes permalink

    Looks like the weather is cooperating. Fascinating!

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