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R u s s i a

Россия

 

We entered Russia as part of a paid tour group of motorhomes.  In all there was one Italian, 2 American and 13 French vehicles.

There is absolutely zero camping infrastructure within Russia, thus all of us individually made the decision to enter the country as a group for security reasons.  We all got along well and everyone did what was necessary for the entire group to enjoy themselves.

Leaving Latvia

Here we are lined up waiting to get to the border control.  In Russia there are 4 individual stations that you have to pass in sequence - plus complete paperwork for both you and your vehicle.  The border is just out of sight ahead.  The end of the truck line is a mile and a half behind - those guys will have a 24 hour wait just to approach the border.  Our time was a relatively short 6 hours in line.  It is all about jobs creation for the Russians.

 

 

 

 

 

7 lanes in each direction

Before and after the war, Stalin built grand avenues and monumental buildings to impress.  Large multilane streets were the norm.  Largely empty under the Communists.  In 1980 there were only 30,000 cars in Moscow.  Today Moscow has a population of 17 million, with millions of cars, and only 43 parking places.  More guys are employed as "security" to prevent people from parking where they like.  With more cars than room, traffic is congested.  And the Russian is not a patient soul, and rules of the road are minimal at best.

In the image below, taken from the tour bus at the corner of the Kremlin, we see that the 2 lanes devoted to making a left turn have become four or more.  This is normal.

On the highway - passing on the right in the shoulder - is not uncommon.  The first time that it happens to you it is, shall we say, an epiphany.

 

In Russia, getting there is half the fun!

 

This is the Riga, Latvia - Moscow road

Often, 20 miles per hour was considered good speed.

It is not as smooth as it appears.

Often driving on the shoulder was smoother

Sometimes it was every man for himself

And road construction was a horror.

 

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    Москва́                                                  Moscow

From University hill.  Kremlin is directly ahead - 5 miles.  To the left rise the new towers of Moscow City.

 

Kremlin view

Our first look at the seat of Russia political power was from this direction.

Kremlin means fortress or castle.  Most old Russian towns have one.  Usually large walled citadels which house both the political and religious power of the community.

 

It is a big enclosure - 1/2 mile on each side.  Behind the onion domed church on the right is Red Square.

Red Square                                                  Кра́сная пло́щадь

It is the second largest public square in the world after Beijing.

 

At the east end is the multi-colored confection known as

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Day or night it is a visual treat

Though known as "onion domes", the shape really symbolizes flames.  The fiery light of the truth of Jesus.

Most orthodox churches have 5 domes: a large central dome and 4 on the corners.  They represent Jesus and his 4 main Apostles.  Additional domes can be added as local options.

 

Judy decides to hang with Vlady, Jo Jo and the Field Marshall

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"You're hanging noodles on my ear"

The American equivalent of this Russian saying would be "You're pulling my leg".

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SIGNS

 

Tom Hanks - Angels and Demons

Supermarket

Restaurant

More town name then sign

 

Some signs are gentle reminders

 

some are not

 

 

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