Moscow, Russian Federation
6 June 2009
Today was a big day with lots of traveling. Ryan, Lizzy, and I set out to go back to Red Square to see Lenin’s Mausoleum. However, we kind of got lost on the way. Instead of heading straight toward the city center, we ended up going around it, following one of the famed ring roads.
We finally made it to the city center, were we think new officers were being commissioned, although we’re not entirely sure.
They all looked pretty young though.
We decided that we better get in line to see Lenin, since viewing hours are only from 10am to 1pm. We dropped off our bags at the bag check (the Russians are very serious about nobody photographing Lenin) and queued up to see Lenin. Interestingly enough, viewing Lenin is completely free. I think the level of irony would shoot out the roof if Russia charged visitors to see Lenin, one of the great Communist leaders, being exploited in a capitalism manor.
Anyway, Lenin is doing very well. Resting peacefully (and somewhat creepily) in his mausoleum.
Ryan wanted to go to the Market to get some trinkets to bring back home with him. We found the nearest Metro station, after a bit more wandering, and made it clear across town to the Market in no time.
Lunch was in order by this time. Every where we went, we kept seeing these huge chunks of meat on a skewer…sort of what you see at a place that makes gyros.
We wandered through the market for the next 30 minutes, but were throughly disappointed. All we would see for rows and rows were shoes, clothes, bags, and coats. There would be an occasional wedding dress or electronics shop, but nothing of tourist interest.
Until we found the secret door.
It’s actually not a door, it’s just an entrance. But they do charge 10 roubles to get in. We paid and immediately found what we were looking for.
Old soviet maps. War time memorabilia (both real and reproductions). Russian dolls. We took our time gazing at all the awesomeness. After spending what seemed like hours, decided on a matted photo taken shortly after the dissolution of the Soviet government and a propaganda poster. There was so much more I want, but I knew I didn’t have the space (or money) to take it with me.
We finished up our market excursion, and then headed home with a quick stop at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building.
This was Kate, Lizzy, Tim, Gary, and Ryan’s last day in Moscow. We said our goodbyes, exchanged Facebook information, and then they headed out to catch their Trans-Siberian Train.