First Glimpse of Russia

Trip Start Jul 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 18, 2008

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Flag of Russian Federation  ,
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We didn't want to venture too far this morning as we had a transfer at noon for the cruise terminal.  We walked a few minutes from the hotel and found some very nice shops.  The shops are not easy to see from the street but once inside the buildings, the Russian shops are very sophisticated.  Prices seem to be similar to ours.  Graham bought a belt before we were driven to the terminal - about an hours drive.  The driver was much nicer but once again very little English - but a smile.  The boat is 129 meters long, clean and tidy, but small rooms.  Instead of its usual capacity of 220 passengers there are 124 on board - seems to be a mixture of Americans, English, Canadians, South Africans and Australians.  The ship is docked on the Moscow canal which is over 128km long.  It was built from 1932 to 1937 by prisoners to a guaranteed depth of 4 meters.  It has 11 shipping locks, 5 pumping stations - also provides Moscow with half it's water consumption.  Because of this canal, Moscow has access to five seas, including the White Sea, Baltic Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov and the Black Sea and to all the oceans of the world.  However, the guide said because of pollution, Muscovites don't eat very much fish and it is expensive.
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