Saturday, December 4, 2010

Red Square

Part of today's tour was the infamous Red Square. At the entrance there is a spot called the first kilometer. It is from this spot that all distances in Moscow are measured and it is lucky to toss a coin from this spot and make a wish. Emily and Marcy took the chance to make a wish. The older ladies and men behind them make their living scrambling for the coins as soon as they hit the ground.

This is the "ceremonial" entrance to the Kremlin from Red Square. This is the most accurate clock in all of Russia we were told. Now how do you know that and how exactly can you tell when there is no second hand? Anyway, it's always been important and even today the ringing of the clock bells is broadcast on Russian radio at 6am and 12am everyday (a very big deal at 12am on New Year's Eve!)

There is a big skating rink in the middle of Red Square. The tour guide says this is one of things that amazes her most about the changes in Russia. She says 15 years ago a skating rink there could not have been imagined. Frank took Emily and Marcy skating. Too cold for Olivia (who stayed at the hotel) and me (I found a grocery store inside the adjacent mall!)

The lit up building in this photo is a modern mall built in the early 1900s. Because Red Square was used as an open air market they thought it appropriate to build an indoor market as well. It's very high end with all the expensive international names.

Oops, these photos got uploaded out of order. Here are Marcy and Emily at the skating rink with St. Basil's and the Kremlin entrance in the background.

Last is the Balshoy (sp?) theatre - famous for ballet and opera. It's not exactly in Red Square but close by and we passed walking back to the hotel. Thought we should have a photo. It's been under renovation for about 4 years and is almost ready to fully reopen. Apparently only one section of the complex has been in use.

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