Guided Bus City Tour of Moscow and Novodevichii Monastery

On January 9, our first day back in Moscow after traveling the Golden Ring, our guide, Aleksandar, gave us a bus tour of Moscow. We saw several monuments to Russian leaders and artists as well as important buildings such as members of the seven sisters, building constructed by Stalin and prime examples of soviet architecture, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior which is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world and is the site of the original premier of Tchaikovksy’s 1812 overture. ( This is the overture where Tchaikovsky employed cannons as instruments #thuglife).

We also had the opportunity to walk in the Red Square today where we were overwhelmed with the sheer size of the Kremlin and the beauty of GUM the mall across from it. We are confident that that might be the most beautiful shopping center any of us had ever been in.

GUM

GUM all decorated for the holiday season. This is an example of Soviet style decor that includes fruit, cards, and candy since people were very poor in Soviet Russia and did not have ornaments.

We could not help but mutter “Лепота” (Beautiful-old Russian) under our breaths as we looked upon the famous St. Basil’s cathedral. I believe there are no photos that could truly capture its beauty but this one will have to do.

St. Basil's Church

St. Basil’s Cathedral

At the end of the day we all looked forward to returning to the square to explore the armory, Kremlin, and ice cream at GUM, of course. 🙂

After, this we had a tour of Novodevichii monastery where Peter the Great sent his sister Sofia so she would not undermine his rule. The incredibly beautiful monastery is also the site of the Swan Lake, the inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Swan Lake. Unfortunately, swans no longer come this lake. We also had a tour of the Novodevichii cemetery where many famous Russians have been laid to rest including Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Gorbachev’s wife, Boris Yeltsin, Stanislavsky and so on. Unfortunately, I cannot remember them all because it was so cold that I thought my feet were literally going to fall off. I am sure I was not the only one and I hope someday we might all be able to return in the summer time, hopefully.

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