To Russia With Love...

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by milchap, Jul 31, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    The movie "The Bucket List" affected many of us who perhaps then resoved to do the things we always wanted to do......

    I am a retired Canadian military senior officer. I had always dreamed of visiting Russia. For many years, the time was not right.

    Recently, my favorite river cruise company Uniworld refurbished the River Victoria, owned by Mosturflot....and lo and behold the dream was within my reach and another item was crossed off my bucket list.

    The lucky stars were perfectly aligned and I managed to snag two business class seats for myself and my wife YWG-YYZ-FRA-DME (open jaw) LED-MUC-CLT-YYZ-YWG. The flights were a mix of LH and AC and I have nothing special to report about them as they watered and fed us and lodged us according to my expectations.

    At DME, I encountered my first experience with Russian bureaucracy. The immigration formalities took one hour and ten minutes !!!
    When I managed to get to the immigration wicket, the Russian immigration officer was certainly a newbie.....she took ten minutes to enter information into her computer and slowly leafed through every page of my passport. Keep your cool milchap was my mantra and smile and :) again :) and again. Customs however was a breeze.

    We hopped on a bus and slowly made our way into Moscow to join our ship, the River Victoria which would quarter us for three days before the cruise left for Saint Petersburg. It was evening rush hour and traffic was very heavy.

    Russia Trip 386.JPG
     
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  2. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    It took us over an hour and a half to motor from DME to our ship docked at the North end of the Moscow Canal.

    As I forgot to take a photo of our ship, I am substituting with another one. :oops:

    Russia Trip 094.JPG

    Docking space is at a premium and ships usually dock one beside the other up to a maximum of four ships.

    Russia Trip 090.JPG
     
  3. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    Great start Milchap - looking forward to reading more about your trip. I also hope I can visit there someday :)
     
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  4. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    The first full day we bused it from the ship to the center of Moscow. It took a full hour and the next photo will explain why.... gridlock every morning as people head into Moscow.

    Russia Trip 381.JPG
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Thanks for posting these photos milchap. I really want to hear about the cruise. I've never been on a Russian cruise. Actually i don't do too much tourism there even though I am in Moscow and/or Saint petersburg 3-4 times per year.

    You've observed the traffic in Moscow. Sounds like ti was not a heavy traffic day. I have spent more than three hours getting from DME to my Tverskaya Street hotel, and that is with an ex-KGB driver taking all the known shortcuts. He gets me there in off-hours in twenty minutes or so, but I rarely manage to arrive in off-hours. The Moscow traffic seems to be returning to the pre-recession levels.

    If you have the chance, the Cafe Pushkin gives a solid pre-revolutionary ambiance. It was built a few years ago to seem old, and it does.

    I really envy you your trip. I do love Russia. Please keep telling us all about it!
     
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  6. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Our first stop was Red Square.... It started to rain when we arrived in the center of Moscow. This is the second time that I encounter hard rain when visiting famous squares.....it rained when I was visiting Tiananmen Square and now it is pouring on Red Square. Russia Trip 004.JPG

    Kremlin Wall in the background

    Red Square with Saint Basil's Cathedral in the distance

    Russia Trip 009.JPG

    Russia Trip 005.JPG

    Lenin's Tomb at far left next to wall
     
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  7. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 007.JPG Russia Trip 006.JPG The rain at one point was so hard that we sought refuge and also the traditional bathroom breat in GUM the department store GUM runs the full Western Side of Red Square.

    GUM Russia Trip 007.JPG
     
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  8. Concerto
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    Looking forward to more, Milchap!
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    Every photo makes me want to be there more, milchap!
     
  10. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 014.JPG Day 2 was a visit to the Kremlin.
    Architecturally the Kremlin centers around its churches. The administrative and residential buildings and the tranquil plazas compliment the cathedrals.
    The Russian President no longer lives in the Kremlin but he motercades daily to his office every working day.

    Armory Museum in the Kremlin (building on the right) and Uglovaya Arsenalnaya Tower at far right
    The Armory Museum holds much more than guns. Royal treasures are housed there and exhibits include Faberge eggs and the crown jewels.
     
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  11. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Cathedral Square in the Kremlinhouses five churches

    Cathedral of the Assumption Russia Trip 018.JPG

    Catheral of the Archangel MIchael
    Russia Trip 017.JPG
     
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  12. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 024.JPG Russia Trip 025.JPG Czar Cannon. The cannon weighs 40 tons and it was never fired.
     
  13. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 021.JPG CzarBell. It is the largest in the world at 200 tons. 20 feet high and nearly 22 feet in diameter. It cracked before it could be
    rung.
     
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  14. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 028.JPG Russia Trip 030.JPG Day three. I tacked the Moscow Metro to see some stations.
    The photos are not good because I was using a small camera to hide it from the famous pickpocket artists who haunt the metro.
    Prah-stee-tye for the poor quality !
     
  15. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    After coming back to the ship from exploring the Metro, it is time to set sail for seven days on the Russian Waterways: Moscow Canad ---> Volga River --->Lake Rybinsk ---> Svir River ---> Lake Onega ---Svir River---> Lake Ladoga--->Neva River.
     
  16. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 035.JPG Russia Trip 034.JPG Leaving Moscow and Volga River scenes, Dachas outside Moscow. Russia Trip 033.JPG
     
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  17. milchap
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    Russia Trip 040.JPG To create navigable waterways, the Russians flooded some land created vast reservoirs. This is a tower from a flooded town.....all that is left of the community.
     
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  18. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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  19. milchap
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    Russia Trip 046.JPG

    Uglich.....a whole street of souvenir vendors...
     
  20. milchap
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    Uglich is a small rural community.....yet the Church is prominent. Russia Trip 051.JPG
     
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  21. milchap
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    Scene from Uglich Main street. Russia Trip 047.JPG
     
  22. Chimpy
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    Great report and photographs, thanks Milchap. :)
     
  23. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 646.JPG Russia Trip 073.JPG Russia Trip 260.JPG Russia Trip 646.JPG Russian Waterways various scenes.
     
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  24. Horse
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    milchap, Russia is one place I have always wanted to visit. Your pics only make me realize it more. Thanks for sharing :)
     
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  25. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Russia Trip 453.JPG Russia Trip 849.JPG Navigating the locks Russia Trip 075.JPG
     

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