Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Red Square at night

So this weekend, they were doing Formula One racing around the Kremlin..Saturday night as we left Red Square, some of the cars were showing off doing crazy things.... Going really fast then turning - thankfully traffic was blocked. I still continue to be shocked nearly every day here.... And Saturday was no exception... So, I'll go backwards again.
For the Formula One - they set up this makeshift party house behind St. Basil's - see the pink and purple lights.. Here you can see GUM - lit up like Christmas, and part of the Kremlin.
GUM
St. Basil's... I know, not the best picture, but oh well.
State Historical Museum - keep in mind it was like 11:00 pm when I took this picture...
Another view of the museum. I really need to actually go inside and see what is there.
This is now an exhibition hall. It used to be horse stables.
View of part of the Kremlin from where we were sitting.
Ok, to one of the shocking things from Saturday... Now, I guess I am over the shock that people get in the fountains here, but I was shocked to see them JUMPING from up high into the water - and shocked to see them strip down to their underwear in front of tons of people.
And shocked that they would get in this water and no one would say a word about it... I wonder how they knew how deep it was...
GUM in the daytime.
Another shot of Red Square/St. Basil's. It is really nice how empty Moscow is on the weekends. Some people from Atlanta are here, and one night we were talking about the population here and about how roughly the size of Atlanta commutes into Moscow from the outer regions each day.
Rush hour on the metro is so unpleasant...
Another shock - at the souvenier market, they now have bears chained up outside.... quite a disturbing site. Moscow is hot in the summer, and these bears were panting and trying to get their collars off.. It was so horrible that I did not take a picture.
So, I bought 3 bootleg dvd's, for $10 and got one for free... I did not notice the bag until later - Bear Beer? Really?

Here is a link to some interesting reading on corruption....http://ftp.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/ruscrime.htm

Despite it all, I feel safe here, and have had no issues..Really the most dangerous thing here are the sidewalks... uneven, holes. The other night, my heel got caught in a crack.. and the heels I wear are MUCH lower than most of the ladies here...

Russia

Sorry, it has been so long since I posted anything.... but, right before I went to Kiev, I spilled coffee on my personal laptop at home....... and ruined my computer....

The office IT told me where to take it to have it looked at for repair. Well, just finding the place was an adventure (challenge).... Way up on the Gray Line of the Metro, then I went into 3 buildings... Finally, I found the right building. I was told they spoke English... .Yeah, they spoke English like I speak Russian!

So, they said it would be $400 for a new keyboard and a new motherboard, and they did not seem certain that would fix it... So, I decided not to fix it....

Then, I thought, well, I'll buy one in the US and have it shipped here - another great idea that is not possible here due to customs restrictions....

Oh well, I will figure something out. It is actually kind of nice not to be connected all of the time.... It has given me time to watch more TV. There is an English Russian new channel where I have been watching some very interesting shows and learning alot about Russia.

The longer I am here, the more truly bizzare things I see. I will post some pics from this weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kiev - Again!

So, I went to Kiev again this weekend. It was so nice to be in a small, green city with fresh air....
On Saturday afternoon we took off wandering toward the Lavra. We did everything backwards basically, but this was a new area I had not been to.
Here were some wedding pictures near the tanks!
We were at a museum, and there was an underground passage through to the area near the Lavra.
A VERY giant statue... Sorry, I don't know what it was...

These were sculptures on the walls of the underground passage. Quite interesting expressions of pain and suffering.
These people suffered - although my lack of war knowledge is huge, I had never heard of Stalin's famine in Ukraine before I was here the first time......very sad.

Back entrance to the Lavra

When I was here in March, I knew the gardens would be beautiful here...the smell of roses was everywhere! This is a view all the way down to the Dnieper River.

Right now, the local fruit available is very good. Cherrys, nectarines, berries, etc... you see it all on the sidewalk and in the metro. Well, I had never seen cherry trees before! I did try one from the tree - and it was a bit sour....

This was a tomb of somemone Domes of the Lavra