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Underground Cathedrals

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The surprisingly luxurious #19 Megapolis night train took us south from St. Petersburg to a wet and humid Moscow. The sun came out for an afternoon trip to the truly surreal VDNKh; once the Soviet governments' Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy, it is now overrun with cheap amusements and fast food kiosks.


That evening we went to see Swan Lake (in a theatre next to the Bolshoi as they are on their summer break, although the company was their youth corps) and took an atmospheric walk along the embankment of the Mockba River where Moscow showed off her most glittering jewels, lit up like Christmas.


The Kremlin's ticketing system is more than confusing but I managed to get timed entry to the Armoury, where the Kremlin's finest treasures are now displayed. One can see why you'd want to start a revolution, these guys loved their bling. The compound itself is full of cathedrals, each with its own identity. No trip to Moscow is complete without a tour of her finest metro stops- more like ballrooms than mass transit stations, they make our humble underground seems distinctly ordinary.

Lenin takes Fridays off so we had no choice but to fit in a visit to his mausoleum on Saturday morning before the train. It was certainly worth the effort; the reverence shown to him even today is palpable (smartly dressed soldiers line the route, hats and hands in pockets are banned) but I couldn't help think the poor man has been turned in to a giant candle.

In keeping with the start of trip it was time for a dash to the station to pick up supplies and board the train for 88 hours. Remind why I thought this would be a good idea?

Posted by arianemeena 00:58 Archived in Russia

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