Russia 2006 Journey Day Fifteen
Moscow, Russia

                                    [28 July, 2006] Travel day from Berlin to Moscow (Mockba) via Air Germania.  The all coach flight was
                                    just over two hours and crosses two time zones.  With the exception of traveling to Cambodia, arriving in
                                    Russia really does have the "we're no longer in Kansas anymore" feeling.
                                    Arrival was at the Domodedovo airport was last time to see any English signs or directions.  A new direct
                                    train called the "AeroExpress" links the airport to the city in 40 minutes.  Cost is only 120 rubles ($4 USD).
                                    The "new" was not really new - the trains were dated; however, it did have seat covers and metal boxes 
                                    on the ceiling containing a 15" television and VCR (not in use).  The width of the train cars appears to be
                                    a wider rail gauge (width between rails) and not useable in other countries.  The scenery was mostly gray
                                    and somewhat impoverished.  The stations passed appeared not to have been painted or maintained in
                                    The real challenge occurred at the arrival Paveletskaya station.  Even though well equipped with the Metro
                                    map, to ability to read the station signs is not something decipherable.  Thankfully, each line is color coded.
                                    We determined that we should use the green line - Next step is to determine which direction.  A basic 
                                    intuitive feeling was the green line on the right-hand was heading to the inner city.  Surprisingly, we arrived
                                    at the right station and found our hotel within a couple of blocks.
                                    A few thoughts about the Moscow Metro - they would make the New York Central Station appear in slow
                                    motion.  The escalators going deep into the Metro tunnels are permanently set on "hyper speed" and the 
                                    subway cars accelerate on the scale of an Universal roller coaster.  Moscow knows how to move people.
                                    Once settled into the hotel, we ventured out for a quick walk through of the Red Square.  It does appear
                                    larger on television.  Seems that the old military parades were a logistics challenge around the gates and
                                    square churches.  The Kremlin borders one side and the Gosudarstvennyy Universalnyy Magazin (GUM)
                                    shopping arcade on the opposite side.  The GUM is outlined in lights during the evening.
                                    The mix of people included extensive security (with cars ready to go in the distance).  At the hotel, business
                                    men, some with well dressed "daughters", were well focused on the deal at hand.  In the shopping areas,
                                    most of the young women looked like Paris Hilton wannabes and a few men had "man bags".
                                    Our hotel room overlooks the famous Bolshoy Theater.  It's a shame it is covered in scaffold and canvas.
                                    Restoration will be completed in another 3 years.  That is basically the same story elsewhere - either a
                                    building has been or is being restored or is being destroyed.  Many of the 1960s Soviet age cotemporary
                                    style buildings are being replaced with more classical style architecture. 


                                                                  Moscow Red Square Scenes     Moscow Red Square Scenes    Moscow Red Square Scenes
                                                                                   Red Square                                St. Basil's Catheral                          Historical Museum
                                                 Moscow Red Square Scenes Moscow Red Square Scenes  Moscow Red Square Scenes          
                                                            Tocsin and Saviour's Towers                                 GUM Exterior                                            GUM Interior

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