Dateline: Moscow, Day 3

Moscow, Russian Federation
5 June 2009

We (Gary, Ryan, Tom, Kate, Lizzy, and I) walked down to Red Square today.

The first order of business was to see the State Historical Museum. The lady at the ticket counter1 was nice enough to give us all student discounts, even though only half of us had ISIC2 cards.

The museum was more of what I’d call a Nature and History of the human race. It wasn’t super exciting, but still probably worth the price of admission. My favorite part was the later periods of Russian history, it was a very ornate period. The building in and of itself is quite remarkable as well. Each room has giant vaulted ceilings, often times with ornate frescoes.

We stopped by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier3. Several newlywed couples came through to place flowers (and take photos).

29.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

At one point, a flower girl tried to follow the couple in. The guard who let the couple in quickly ran over to her, picked her up, and placed her back outside the ropes.

56.0 mm || 1/400 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

We found some lunch before splitting up for the afternoon. tom went to find a post office, Kate, Lizzy, and Gary went to St. Basil’s, and Ryan and I went to the Kremlin. I think I could have paid extra to bring my camera in, but I wasn’t in a mood to try and communicate that to the ticket lady. Thus, sadly, I don’t have any photos from the inside.

The Moscow Kremlin4 is really a fortified city center, and the site has been occupied continuously since 2 BC5.

18.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

The insides are a mix of military-looking barracks and chapels, accented by the Kremlin Gardens, Tsar Cannon6, and Tsar Bell7.

The chapels were the only thing open (as far as we could tell). They had been converted to display deceased (and possibly canonized) persons of importantance or more Russian history, making them akin to the State History Museum. At the entrance, they would also try to hawk trinkets to the tourists.

After the Kremlin, Ryan and I met back up with Kate, Lizzy, and Gary (Tom had gone back to the hostel). We decided to walk down to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Unfortunately, the actual building was closed (it was after 5 by this point). Fortunately, the grounds were still open and I got some great pictures.

18.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1/500 || f/10.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1/320 || f/10.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

We all agreed that riding the train home would be a welcome respite for our feet.

18.0 mm || 1/25 || f/3.5 || ISO1250 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1/50 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 1 || f/6.3 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

18.0 mm || 2.5 sec || f/8.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia

  1. KACCA, in Russian 

  2. International Student Identity Card 

  3. Могила Неизвестного Солдата 

  4. ‘Kremlin’ is Russian for ‘citadel,’ and there is more than one kremlin in Russia…although the Moscow Kremlin is certainly the most famous 


  6. the largest howitzer ever made 

  7. the largest bell in the world, massing in at almost 200,000 kg 

Updated Itinerary

Progess is being made! I’m calling this Itinerary v0.2. It appears that the only country that will need a visa is Russia. Thus, I’m going to going to start my travels there since it will have to be the most planned part of this trip. I talked with Jeff last night, as he had traveled to Russia several years ago, and got some good information on places to go. I’m hoping to have trip start and end dates locked down and reserved by the end of March, along with all the Russian parts locked down and reserved. 

I also talked with Quinn and Charlie, both of whom have indicated they would at least be interested in doing some traveling with me as well. I have calls in to Katelyn and Erin, both of whom have been and are currently in Turkey, respecitvely.

Below is a list of places that I think I would like to visit, in roughtly the order that I would visit them. I’ve also added notes (mostly to myself) about things I’d like to do there. I think this seems like a more managable list than previously. I’m also trying to setup a framework of things to do, however still allow the trip to progress organically.

  • Day 1: 
    Seattle, Washington 
    Dulles, Washington, DC
  • Airplane/10 hrs/UA964
  • Day 2: Moscow, Russia12
    • Red Square
    • The Kremlin
    • GUM
  • Airplane/1.25 hrs/$60 USD/Rossiya – Russian Airlines3
  • Day 6: St. Petersburg, Russia45
  • Bus/6 hrs/€30 ($40 USD)/EuroLines
  • Day 10: Tallin, Estonia6
  • France:
    • Paris, France (Paris Air Show – 15 to 21 June 2009)
    • Toulouse, France7
    • La Barre, France8
    • Vélizy, France9
    • Bidos, France 10
  • Italy:
    • Rome, Italy
    • Venice, Italy
    • Grottaglie, Italy11
    • Agnone, Italy12
  • Switzerland
    • Arbon, Switzerland
    • Interlaken, Switzerland13
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
    • I’ve heard you can visit Chernobyl…could be cool.
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Germany -> Seattle (UA8718)


  • Sweden14
  • Denmark->Seattle (UA9394)
  • Romania
  • Macedonia






  7. 787 Production Stop: Groupe Latécoère 

  8. Birthplace of Jean-Luc Picard 

  9. 787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty 

  10. 787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty 

  11. 787 Production Stop: 

  12. We visited Agnone a couple of years, it’s where my maternal great-grandfather was born, and  I’ve wanted to return here to just spend a few days hanging out 

  13. I’ve heard this is a must 

  14. 787 Production Stop: Saab