Sightseeing in Москва – Red Square and Alexander Garden

So, as most probably know, I’m moving part-time to Moscow.  As a preparation for that, I’m currently temporarily in Moscow to teach a course.  I’ve been quite busy, but Sunday I spent doing some sightseeing.  As I live quite close to ((In Moscow terms; it’s around 3 km, which is, like, infinitely far in Eindhoven terms.)) the Red Square, I decided to go there first.

Before I got so far, I got to the Александровский сад (Alexander Garden). It’s got all kinds of neat stuff in and around it.  Here’s a panorama of a large part of the garden.  You may want to click this bad boy to see it in the full glory.  Or not.  You know who won’t click it?  Hitler!  That’s who!  You want to be like Hitler?  Go ahead, don’t click on it.  See if I care…  But I digress, here’s the Alexander Garden:

For example, here’s a testament to historical revisionism. It’s an obelisk. I’d like to point out that Wikipedia said that it had been erected. Also, I’d like to point out that it is long and rock-hard. Yes, I went and made a pee-pee joke.

Here’s another view of the obelisk along with the Kremlin wall and the entrance to the grotto:

If we do a swift (or slow, do as you please) 180 degrees spin, we see this monument, the celebrated rock on dirt.  Ok, it probably has another name, but as it’s just that: a rock on some dirt, I’m too lazy to look it up:

If the rock on potential mud does not sufficiently amuse you, you can take a look at all of these old neat buildings on the other side.  They are more fun than rock on dirt:

Panning a bit further, yields the Moscow Manege.  There’s also a garden I presume is more colorful in the summer:

Near the exit (or entrance if you get in here; I didn’t but rather left to this side, hence the name “exit”) we see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  I don’t know him and most likely neither do you.  I think we can safely say it’s probably not Rambo then.  What did happen to Rambo by the way?  Haven’t seen any recent documentaries about him…  Maybe he really is dead, unknown, and buried in Moscow…?  We’ll never know… anyway, here’s a tomb (it’s behind all those people – I wasn’t sufficiently interested to snap a close-up):

Outside the exit is a statue of a horsie with a dude on it.  Maybe it’s a Trojan horsie?  I guess it would be a crappy one if we knew…  Thus, outside the exit is a statue of a trojan horsie with a dude on it.  What you cannot see in this picture, is that I’m standing in line to get to the Red Square.  It’s ll very exciting.

The Red Square.  Disappointingly, it’s neither red nor square.  I guess the “Sort-of Grayish Sort-of Rectangle” wasn’t as catchy in Russian.  On the right the Kremlin and the Lenin Mausoleum and to the left a big fucking stage in front of the GUM department store.  Contrary to what you’d believe, that’s not a department store specializing in gum, but as I didn’t go in there, scoot over to Wikipedia and read all about it.  In the middle is the Disney castle.  Not really, it’s the St. Basil’s Cathedral.  Unrelated to the spice, I presume.

Here’s me on the Red Square so I can prove to the world I was there.  Or that I know photoshop.

Here’s close ups of the Kremlin wall, the GUM shop, and the cathedral:

Here’s the back of the picture, which is the State Historical Museum.

This is the Lenin Mausoleum.  Lenin in Russian is Ленин (uppercase: ЛЕНИН), which is what is says on the front.  I presume he is lying in there, waiting, plotting, scheming.

Also, me in front of the mausoleum.

Have some panoramas of the Red Square as well.  From top to bottom: from the museum, from the not-spice church, and from Lenin’s scheming chamber:

Near the exit is this statue.  It was quite lucky I went there on Sunday the 4th of November, as that is the День народного единства or Unity Day. On this day in 1612 the Muscovites expelled some Poles occupying the city. Whether it was the North Poles or the South Poles I don’t know. Ok, I appologize for that joke. Let’s start over. In 1612 on November 4, the Russian forces expelled the Polish forces from Moscow. Whether it was Nail Polish or Shoe Polish, we’ll never know. Ok, I give up… In any case, to commemorate this, which was done using an army of volunteers by Ми́нину and Пожа́рскому, a statue was set up, called the Па́мятник Ми́нину и Пожа́рскому or Monument to Minin and Pozharsky. As I was there on the 400th anniversary of this, of course there were celebrations and somebody even put flowers. That’s likely also why there’s so many people around.

Leaving the Red Square to search new adventures, I snapped this last picture of the Kremlin from a bridge just outside:

Next to the Kremlin, at least from where I was standing snapping the picture, is the Москва-река (Moskva River). It’s a bit like a lake, except longer and narrower. It’s also larger than even the Dommel AND Århus Å.

Walking along the river, I discovered not only a bridge, not only a church, but both! Naturally, I had to cross the river on the bridge and look at the church.

Here’s the church from the back:

And from the front.  It’s called Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Some very interesting trivia about this church is that just in front of it is a small booth selling (among other things) beer. This booth is open 24/7.

Nearing the end of my tour, I see some street musicians.  I’m very polite and don’t hit them.

After this, I walk into a very boring super-touristy street, so no more pictures.

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