Here we are, Moscow, at the end of the Trans Siberian train route. 7,621 KM of train travel, give or take a couple of K, done ✅
First things first, we need some orientation. We were recommended a river cruise so that’s what we did. It was very civilised, with Italian food and wine available to ensure we don’t starve. The start was at one of Moscow’s land marks and is one of a collection of buildings known as Stalin’s 7 Sisters. It’s now a Raddison Hotel and we were doing the Raddison cruise:
Audio guide on, here we go…
Massive statue to Peter The Great.
Right, next. Kremlin. We elected to do the Armoury and Diamond Fund which are additional to the Kremlin entrance fee but within the Kremlin. No photos allowed and those KGB types were lurking ominously. Our cameras stayed well out of sight. The Armoury is where all the treasures are kept such as precious gifts from other countries and works of art and treasures collected by the Imperial rulers over the years. Excellent exhibition and a very good audio tour to go with it. The Diamond Fund is just as it says on the tin, the vault that keeps the wealth of the country in one place. You are never likely to see more diamonds in one place nor such large lumps of platinum and gold. Interesting but the Armoury was far more impressive in our opinion.
Then out and about in the Kremlin, camera out:
Right, we’ve seen his statue everywhere we’ve been, now it’s time to see him in the flesh so to speak. The real live dead Lenin. We’ve seen Chairman Mao in Beijing and Uncle Ho in Ho Chi Min. It’s time to complete the set. Of course you can’t take pictures in there but you walk through a memorial park that is built around the mausoleum.
Apparently Lenin’s final wish was to be buried beside his mother but the State decided otherwise as he created a sense of unity as people gathered to pay their respects. It is still being debated to this day whether they finally follow his wishes.
It subsequently turns out that the set of 3 is in fact a set of 5. There’s a couple more fellas resting up in the Kumsusan Palace Of The Sun, North Korea: Eternal President Kim Il-Sung and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il. Don’t think we’ll be completing this set any time soon.
Another place on the list; Muzeon Park Of Arts where Soviet era works and relics were saved after the fall of the Soviet Union. (Ruble to the first for each name)
We elected to do the audio tour of the inside so we could enrich your lives with the minutiae of detail, that is if we had retained said information through the haze of our excesses. We do recall it being interesting though and the guy doing the audio was great.
Izmailovo Market, let battle commence:
We had to end our stay in Moscow in style so where else than Cafe Pushkin.
We leave for St Petersburg without any Soviet tat.