Third day of sightseeing/Moscow
Tuesday 4 July 1989. Breakfast at 0830. In Russia if you want a cup of coffee prior to 0900 you are out of luck. They absolutely refuse to serve you coffee until you have finished your breakfast. You can imagine how well that went over with a bunch of American’s who gulp down a cup of coffee before their eyes are even open. In order to finally get a cup of coffee we had to indulge in apple juice, salami and a cheese blintz. The salami was 60% fat. Finally they served us a cup of coffee.
Our adventure for today was to visit the Kremlin and Cathedral Square. We saw the building where Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan had their talks. Also the largest bell in the world, which cracked and has never rang and the largest cannon in the world, which has never been fired.
Next stop was the Armory. It is one of the oldest and most opulent Kremlin museums, which houses a major collection of applied and decorative art. Built over many centuries the collection contains nearly 10 thousand objects documenting the achievements of craftsmen in Russia both native and foreign, within and outside the Kremlin from the 12th to the 20th century. Items owned by royalty such as silver, gold and china collections. Gowns worn by Catherine the Great and clothes worn by Peter the Great. Robes and carriages owned by Royalty. .
The work of Faberge and his colleagues was not accorded due recognition until recently.
Faberge “The Imperial Easter Egg” The interesting history is much too lengthy to include in this writing. Many of the collection were not available for viewing as it was on tour outside of Russia. My favorites were Coronation Egg, The Trans-Siberian Railway Egg and the Red Cross Egg with Resurrection Triptych. Faberge created 56 Imperial Eggs for Czar Alexander III and other Czars that followed. These exquisite eggs were given as gifts to each other with in the Royal family. It was breath taking.
Time to return to the Hotel for lunch and yet another interesting meal that consisted of Beef Stroganoff, rice, peas and ice cream. The Stroganoff was 90% onions, 5% sauce and 5% beef. (I HATE ONIONS). The ice cream was good.
After lunch we went to the Lenin Museum. The museum was opened in May of 1924, with more that 12,500 exhibits displayed on 3 floors. On November 16 1993 President Boris Yeltsin ordered the closure of the museum. The building that housed the museum since 1936 is expected to be returned to its orginal purpose-housing the Moscow Duma, a local government council. The museum’s collection of Lenin’s memorabilia is being put in storage until a decision is made where to keep it.
Back to the Hotel for dinner and prepare for an evening at the Tchaikovsky Theater of folk music and opera. The theater was extremely warm and it was difficult to stay awake.
We returned to the Hotel at 2200 to pack for tomorrow’s trip to Yelta. We were up until midnight. Even though tired it seems it is difficult to sleep when the sun never sets such as here in the land of the midnight sun.
Wednesday 5 July 1989. We were up at 0530 to dress for the day and place our bags outside the Hotel room by 0630 for pick up. Keeping our carry on with us.
Breakfast of Cream of wheat, hard-boiled eggs, bread and the usual fatty cold salami. After breakfast we toured the Puskin Museum of fine arts. I was forced to check my purse because of its size. I guess they thought I might steal something.
Our last event in Moscow was to visit the residence of a female PhD for a round table discussion about Russia. She was 69 years old and a devout communist and proud of it. It was an interesting discussion and she was obviously very diplomatic to have survived the many political régimes over the years without being executed or jailed. Her apartment was extremely small consisting of 3 rooms and a bath.
We returned to the Hotel for lunch which was fairly decent including fresh tomatoes.
We gathered our hand luggage and left for the airport for our trip to Yelta. The airport was a zoo. It was very dirty and poorly maintained. So many people you could hardly move. We boarded the plane (Areoflot, which we lovingly called Areoflop) at 1715. Due to technical problems the take off time was delayed until 1840.
Next blog is about our flight to Simferopol which is the closest airport to Yalta, Russia.
Stay tuned for more Russian adventures.