. Next stop was Moscow U with a view of DT Moscow over the old 1980 Olympic grounds and stadium. There were a kazillion vendors there so it must be the #1 tourist stop. The dropped us off and we took the metro downtown planning to see what all the commotion was yesterday with all the police and perhaps to catch the fireworks. We went by the Hiatt to visit our friends and to get a dining out recommendation but they were not there so we met a new guy. His name is Mohammed and he was from Sierra Leone. He was fluent in Russian, French and English and had his master degree from Moscow U in ichthyology. He has been here since the early 90's and cannot go back home at this time so here is working as a doorman at the Hiatt. He has some pretty interesting observations about perestroika and its aftermath. We were just mesmerized by him as we talked to him when he wasn't working. I think I took his picture. We ate downtown at a typical Russian cuisine place with an English translation of the menu, caught the 11 PM fireworks. (6/12 is the celebration of the freedom from communism) and called it a night.
On Wednesday we did the Moscow city tour, which is the equivalent of the Gray Line tour. We had a great very knowledgeable guide and found that we had seen less than half of the must see's ands were now getting but a glimpse of them. It took 2 and half hours and then we started our second tour, of red square, the Kremlin and the Armory. We had already seen Alexander gardens and the changing of the guard. WE were exhausted when it was over and stayed downtown and had a few brewskies before going home and crashing.
Thursday we got lost trying to take the metro to the Moscow music conservatory. It was only one metro stop from our usual downtown stop but we are easily confused. We finally found it and end managed to snag a couple of tickets to the opening t round of the Tchaikovsky music competitions which takes place every four years. It didn't seem right to be in Moscow while they were going on and not attend. It was fantastic. Most of the attendees were music teachers or students. It reminded me of our experience at thet Master Blaster at Schlterbahn where there was nobody within 30 years of us. In this case the judges seemed about our age. We then explored downtown Moscow a little, looking for a wireless internet access to upload photos, and then bid farewell to our friends at the Hiatt. Hans and Olga spend the night with us and we left for St Petersburg this morning. We are now in Novgorod, but tht is another story.
We spend part of the day with Hans and Olga and saw the apartment that Hans has in Moscow. Too bad he has tenants. After helping take some of their artwork down, we went on a sightseeing tour. First stop was Park with a fabulous view of Moscow. Check out the photos for the name of the park. Since it was a national holiday the park was pretty crowded. One of the real treats was seeing the Russian version of Quasimodo. I did two videos. The first has great sound but gives the viewer motion sickness since I was walking forward trying to enlarge ole Quasi who is the size of an ant. I then discovered that I could zoom in as long as I did it before shooting the video. I got a nice video, but I forgot that I couldn't rotate the camera when shooting videos. I plan on uploading it anyway and let the viewers worry about how best to watch it. While eating in the park I discovered that I still don't like caviar although everybody else does. I would still rather have a Butterfinger blizzard