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... the guide which did fill in a lot of the blanks for us and it was nice to get a Russian perspective on Russian and world events (although it's amazing how effective a state-controlled news/propaganda machine is at shaping opinions- even the English language version of rabid Russian TV that was broadcast on the boat would make Fox News or CNBC seem like balanced and dispassionate news agencies by comparison).
... advisor to the mayor of St. Petersburg (his hometown) in 1991, and has since: served two terms as president from 2000 to 2008, had the constitution amended to disavow the two-term limit in 2008 while serving as prime minister from 2008 to 2012, began his 3rd term as president in 2012, and plans on a 4th that could keep him in office until 2022. The words autocrat and dictator are often applied to his rule, and both ...
... mins to grab something to eat and then lined up at the gate. It seemed to take forever waiting for them to let us on the plane and all that time I was stressing about not being allowed to take our carry on bags since they both contained motorbike helmets and so were well outside the carry on limits. At the front of the desk at the gate was a bag measurer which added to my stress. I kept an eye on everyone above and they checked one or two people but let us go onto ...
With full stomachs, we went onto the next stop. We walked with the dead in the Novodeviehy cemetery. We went to Swan Lake and saw great views of Moscow at Sparrow Peak. We then went to the Circus. We saw tigers, lions, horses and lots of acrobatics. All in all, a great first day.
“Late slips” given: 3. ...
... from Moscow) is on the east end, and the State History museum, in a 19th century building, is on the west end. It's a great area for people-watching: we heard spanish, russian, french, british, and japanese accents. The cobble-stone square is best navigated in flats or sneakers, but that didn't stop some of the fashion-plate women from trying to do it in stilettos. We wandered around, taking the obligatory photos in front of the cathedral and Natasha showed us a ...