Soviet Art! Dead communists!

Trip Start Aug 25, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Flag of Russia  ,
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Obviously I got very very behind on journal entries.  Now that it's months after the fact, I actually have some free time to bring these up to date.

This was my last day in Moscow.  As the college students we met in Novgorod said, Moscow is not meant for tourism.  I think that's true to a certain extent.  Key must-see sites are limited for a city of this size.  Mainly because Russia isn't built for tourism.  The government would probably be perfectly happy if no one came at all.  Still, I found Moscow to be a much more pleasant city than St. Petersburg.  St. Petersburg seemed like a forced imitation of the great european cities, built on a swamp, polluted beyond belief, smelling of gasoline day and night, and abject poverty right around the corners of the most spectacular sites.  Plus, Russia sucks at keeping things running.  There were interesting things to do in St. Petersburg but museum schedules are iffy, random, and sometimes just decide not to open.

But anyway!  The last day has a serious lack of pictures as you can see.  So watch the video of the hotel we stayed in, a testament to the fact that Russians looove glittery things.

The day started off with a trip to pay our respects to what is supposedly Lenin.  Like I mentioned before, things don't just open here or run like they are supposed to.  We were supposed to visit the mausoleum during our first day in Moscow.  It closes randomly for special *secret* reasons.   Opens at unexplained times and closes as well.  Well, today it was open.  As it hadn't been opened all week we had to wait in line for a really long time.  Then, they trick you by saying it's "free" but forcing you to check...everything...I mean everything for a couple of bucks.

Then you walk, with a bunch of creepy guards staring at you.  In typical fashion, I got yelled at for having my hands in my pockets.  I was told by Anna that people often sneak cabbages in and that having my hands in my pockets could means I was secretly hoarding vegetables to pelt at Lenin.

Once inside the mausoleum, there's no talking, single file, don't stop walking.

My impressions?  There's no way that man is real.  It's totally a wax copy.  The whole thing is a giant scam.  Not that I expected anything more.

Naturally, our Russian student guides thought the whole thing was a little silly.  They don't see the tourist obsession with waiting in line to see him.  They also explained that the reason it's closed all the time is because he probably gets up and leaves every night!

To keep with the communist theme, the rest of the day before our flight was spent at the museum of Soviet art.  And keeping with the theme of Soviet art, the museum was an outdated remnant from an old world's fair, neglected, dirty, and depressing.  It actually contained Soviet era art up to the present day.  It was definitely a weird art museum.  I'm used to the grand snooty art thing...which was at least attempted at the Hermitage.

But yeah, at neither event was I allowed to take pictures.

The trip back was, thank god, much less eventful than the trip there due to taking a different airline.  It was not falling apart, did not appear as if it would crash and for the first time, it felt really really good to be back in Denmark.
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