Day 1: Moscow

_MG_1598.jpgEven in the cold pouring rain, for which, despite all of my planning, I was ill equipped (think hobbling around with a cold, wet sock on my foot with a broken toe in an exposed surgical shoe), Moscow is a beautiful city. I didn’t realize this city, like many of the other great cities of the world, has a river that wonders through it.

The Kremlin and Red Square are beautiful and actually smaller than my childhood memories of the ballistic missiles and Red Army marching through it to the approval of the leaders of the USSR. The guide was rather out spoken in his support of their new democracy and the fall of the Communist Party. I didn’t realize that they had two squashed uprisings attempting to restore communism. And, even according to the Russians, Russian history is so bloody and just awful!

_MG_1607.jpgI also learned that is Putin is extremely popularity because, almost entirety, Russia is enjoying an unprecedented economic boom as a direct result of high oil prices. Russia doesn’t import a single drop of oil, only exports it at great profit.

One can see several tall skyscrapers being built in one area of the city. Regular apartments in these buildings sell for over 10 million dollars. I was also fascinated to learn that Moscow is among the most expensive cities in which one can live in the world.

And if I saw 1 wedding party throughout the day, I easily saw over 2 dozen of them! Many of them pose for pictures in Red Square and in the enormous and prestigious (very beautiful) mall next to Red Square. You can see this mall in the bottom picture. It looks a bit like the Louvre in Paris!

_MG_1616.jpgThe pictures don’t do the city justice because most of them were actually shot while it was actively raining! But this post contains some first glimpses. The Russia album will hopefully come sometime before the end of the year.

Don’t forget, if you wish, you can click on any of the smaller images above to see a larger version of the picture.