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12. Moscow the magnificent

It took us nearly an hour in Dmitriy's Toyota that he bought in China, from the airport to the city center where we met Elena. 

Elena was a middle age lady that had given up her teaching job as an English teacher to become a tour guide for foreign tourists. The whole afternoon there were scattered thundershowers but that could not prevent me from enjoying my Moscow tour.

They showed me the Rossia hotel, one of the biggest hotels in the world with more than three thousand rooms and three different reception areas on the banks of the big Moscow River. 

We visited the impressive Moscow University, some churches; some of the churches were still in repairing state with their gold plated roofs. I found it very impressive that the roofs could be gold plated. 

We also visited the Bolshoy Theater, one of the most famous theatres in the world and a market place close to the university.

We went to the Olympic Stadium built for 1980 Games that was boycotted by USA and some other countries, which is situated on the banks of the Moscow River not far away from the city centre.

We did not go to the Red Square with its famous churches because I was supposed to have an opportunity to see it during my 3-day stay in Moscow after my visit to Ekaterinburg.

My Moscow tour was well planned and I enjoyed Elena as my tour guide. She was well spoken and cultured. 

Late that afternoon I offered to buy Dmitriy supper. Elena rather preferred to go home and he took me to the place where we could eat. His choice was the beautiful underground shopping centre next to the Red Square where they were selling some fast foods. It was easy to order because Dmitriy did all the talking and again I wondered about the language problems and if I would really experience problems. 

The shopping centre was packed with people and for the first time I had the opportunity to look at the people. I was impressed with the people, especially the neat and fashionable way that they were dressed. After the supper Dmitriy took me on a tour through the shopping centre. The shopping centre was linked with an underground train station.

For me Moscow was a beautiful city with beautiful architectural buildings. There were no skyscrapers in the real sense of the word. The Moscow University is the tallest building in Moscow that could be considered as a fifty-story building. It was built during Stalin's area, but it is a beautiful architectural building. Moscow is neat and clean. 

What struck me in Moscow the most (after the planes that I had seen at the airport) were the old model type of vehicles. The few new vehicles were imported German models. Even the new Russian's vehicles were old-fashioned shapes and mostly dark coloured. I found out later that before Perestroyka black cars were used in Russia by government elite only, and this is probably why Russians are so in love with black and dark coloured cars.


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Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow, Russia
Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow (1825, architect Bove) - nevertheless its waning glory, Bolshoy is still considered one of the best opera and ballet theatres in Europe and the world. As with many other things, tickets for foreigners are more expensive than for Russian citizens!

Underground shopping center, Moscow
Some things in Moscow look very Italian; like this fountain on the top of the underground shopping center close to the Red Square

Underground shopping center, Moscow
Eatery at the underground shopping center in Moscow close to the Red Square: dozens of fast food cafes and restaurants on the same floor

Underground shopping center, Moscow
The glass roof with world's map: underground shopping center, Moscow


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