jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 110 [19 May 09] – Moscow

Posted in Moscow by jn82 on May 19, 2009

So today was another pretty chill day where we did not have much planned. We headed to Red Square again, this time to see Lenin’s mausoleum, the first of three mausoleums we plan to visit in the next few weeks. Lenin’s embalmed body has been on display here since the year he died (1924), and it is free of charge to go in.There is usually a long queue to get in, but today there was hardly anyone in front of me, how lucky. Entry is through the left side of the mausoleum before the mass graves, just at the corner of one of the Kremlin’s walls. I forgot to take a picture of the exterior of the mausoleum today, but here is a picture from two days ago.

Lenin’s Mausoleum.

Metal detectors marking the first entry to the mausoleum at the base of one of the Kremlin’s towers.

Unfortunately photography (or even talking) is not allowed within the mausoleum. After walking down around two stories below ground level, the interior of the mausoleum gets really dark, except for the centre portion where the body lies behing what I assume are layers of thick glass. It is a pretty eerie feeling walking around the dead body of the first head of the U.S.S.R., and you can only wonder if it is really him, someone made up to look like him or a wax figure. There are guards all over the mausoleum, so you dare not put a foot wrong or do anything funny and run the risk of imprisonment.

After the mausoleum, we walked around Red Square and the souvenier market just outside the Resurrection gate for a while, before heading back to the hostel for a rest.

National Historical Museum.

Resurrection Gate and some souvenier stalls outside.

After a really crap Japanese lunch nearby, we walked around the neighbourhood that the hostel was situated in, Kitay-Gorod. This is a business dictrict in central Moscow which is very nearby to the Kremlin and the Red Square, and contains some very beautiful buildings. I am quite sick of Soviet brutalist architecture buildings, so I took pictures of the three religious buildings along what I think is Varvarka street.

Monastary of the Sign.

Church of St. Maxim the Blessed.

St. Barbara’s Church.

And of course, the typical Russian mall.

I am quite glad to be leaving Moscow for Shanghai tomorrow evening. I have not enjoyed the city as much as I thought as I would, for quite a few reasons. A few of the ones off the top of my head are:

1. The city is really polluted, and there are thousands of cars at all times in the streets.

2. The larger streets have ten lanes for car going in one direction, and no pedestrian crossings.

3.There are absolutely no English signs around (even McDonalds and the metro) and everything is in cryillic so I have no idea what is going on or where I am all the time.

I hope things get better in China, but then again my Mandarin is not that fantastic too!

Today’s pictures here.

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One Response

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  1. Daniles said, on May 22, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Hi, accidentally bumped into your notes about Moscow. I’m Russian and live here in Moscow, so it’s interesting to find what you feel about this place. Unfortunately you are right in your conclusions. No English signs, no clean streets, no comfort for pedestrians and too much police. And very bad that it seems to be ok for most local people.

    One thing I’d like to add is to share my experience of traveling: in my trips I try to get to know a city and a country being a guest of some local person. So this way you may see more colors and some unexpected things around you because you can feel the place more private.
    Anyway thanks for interesting posts, keep on traveling and writing

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