Moscow our last free day here Moscow Travel,June 20th, 2009
Wake up for another great day in Moscow. Go for breakfast again and have another amazing all you can eat buffet downstairs, and I am feeling great.
We meet up with Galina and head out for another adventure in Moscow. Our main stop this morning is to go to the Central Armed Forces Museum. This museum profiles Russia’s best WWII army and military life.
As usual, no photos were allowed in the museum, which sucked because one thing on display was the remains of the American U-2 shot down in 1960. I touched it. There was an outdoor area filled with tanks, missiles and helicopters. Its an amazing museum and lots to see, to hard to describe in which is here as you have to go and see it. The most prized display is that dedicated to the Great Patriotic War, which includes the Victory Banner as well as all of the front banners and the captured Nazi ones that were used during the Victory Parade in 1945.
The Great Patriotic War differs from World War II in that it began on July 22, 1941 with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, World War II (in Europe) started on September 1, 1939 with the co-ordinated attacks of Germany and the Soviet Union on Poland.
The last halls display the post-war and modern developments of the Soviet Army and Navy, the Cold War section contains wreckage material from the U-2 spy plane that was piloted by Gary Powers, and the involvement of Soviet forces in Cold War conflicts. A special display is dedicated to the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan and the recent combat operations in Chechnya.
The outside there are lots of gun and tanks and a military style train, very neat. I have photos of the outside portion of everything.
AS well there is a memorial to the submarine the Kursk, which went down just recently, check out my photos of it all.
Here is a description:K-141 Kursk was an Oscar II class nuclear cruise missile submarine of the Russian Navy, lost with all hands when it sank in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000. Kursk, full name Атомная подводная лодка “Курск” [АПЛ “Курск”] in Russian, was a Project 949A Антей (Antey, Antaeus but was also known by its NATO reporting name of Oscar II).
It was named after the Russian city Kursk, around which the largest tank battle in military history, the Battle of Kursk, took place in 1943. One of the first vessels built after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was commissioned into the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.
After this we went to the Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, where people kept setting off alarms and we couldn’t really figure out how to avoid it. Here Galina gave us a good idea of how her generation was indoctrinated and brainwashed by Communism.
I suppose if you have ideas drilled into you enough and your mind isn’t yet sharp enough to tear them apart, you’ll believe in them. This is why religion and the Democratic Party still exist.What disappointed me most about today was the lack of leisure time. I absolutely love getting lost in big cities, stumbling across Allah knows what. During the Scandinavian leg of the tour, you are dropped off and have to fend for yourself sometimes for a good 8 hours. However in Russia, we are only given a few hours of free time each day. Today was one of those days I longed to get into a little bit of trouble, entering a section of Moscow that would make me feel a little uneasy. In addition, the guided activities today could have easily been done on my own, seeing everything in 1/10th the time without really missing anything. If I were to do this Contiki tour again, I would definitely do this day (or the majority of it) on my own.
At night we went to the circus, which truly was awesome, unlike the ballet which I was just kidding about. The highlight was this little dude (the Man-Child) flipping off a seesaw and spinning into a chair, which was on top of a pole, which was held by a guy on stilts.
There were dancing horses and acrobatic chimps, one of whom was seen beating beaten for his insolence. There was many acts to this, fire eaters, lions, tigers, it was like the older circuses like 30 years ago. IT was the best entertainment show we have had in all of Russia, Amazing.
We leave the circus after a few portions of Cotton Candy and make it back to the Contiki bus and then back to the hotel.
The Colonial decides not to come back with us as he is going off somewhere on his own to find some “store bought ladies, by himself, what a guy.
Low down on Russia tour, Now that I am finished explaining almost this portion of Contiki Russia. It was good but
I sorely regret doing this optional package. Luckily I was able to appreciate my time in St. Petersburg, and felt it was just the right amount of time in the city. However, in a big city like Moscow, I needed a few extra days to explore since I partook in the optional.
If I were to of skipped the package I think I would have been more satisfied with my stay. I will definitely be traveling to Moscow again someday. This was the only city on this Contiki tour I needed more time to explore. Regardless of this optional opinion I still hold Contiki in the highest respect and in no way did it falter my attitude regarding this tour.