Moscow

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Postby Strax » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:35 pm

Scott,
Hope you don't mind but I've just saved the pic of the grafitti as my wallpaper. Great shot.
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Postby Doggie3 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:12 pm

Strax - No problems. I was lucky to get that shot, we were moving pretty quick past some old rail yards and I saw it coming at the last moment. Luckily I had my camera ready and snapped off a few shots.

As I mentioned, I will post a few thoughts on the Trans-Siberian and answer some of the more common questions.

First up, if you ever get a chance to go and do the Trans-Sib - go for it! Don't let the language, weather or Russia's visa/registration system put you off. Russia is a remarkable country and the Trans-Sib scratches the surface of it unlike three days in Moscow or St.Pete ever could.

So, some of the more common questions:

East or West?

We travelled west, because we live in Moscow and wanted to get off the train and go home - no plane ride after. If you have never been to Russia before, I still recommend heading west. Start at Vladivostok and build your way to Moscow - the train will even count down the km to Moscow for you! That way you get to see the Far East and Siberia, and have a point of reference for when you arrive in Moscow and see what this great city is all about, and how different it is to the rest of Russia.

Can I do it without speaking Russian?

Yes, there will always be someone to help you if you are really stuck. A phrase book and an understanding of how to pronounce the words will help, and an understanding of the alphabet is essential. There are actually quite a few cognates once you understand the alphabet.

Summer or Winter

Summer appealed to us due to the long days (sunrise around 5am and set around 11pm) and the ability to travel light (no need for big coats etc). First and some second class are air conditioned most of the time, so the heat was not really an issue. More things are open in the cities (museums and the like) and generally less delays due to weather. I also took many pictures out the window that would not have been possible in thw winter.

On the other hand, it is an entirely different landscape in the winter, and if you have never been in -35 degree temps it may be a unique experience.

What class?

My advice is the best you can afford! There are some romantic notions that by travelling third class you connect with the local people and build an affinity with them...yeah maybe...I'll leave that one to guidebook writers and Tolstoy-romantics. Since we live in Moscow anyway, we didn't feel the need to bond with the local people, and if we wanted to drink with them, we could always go to the dining car. First class gives you two beds, plenty of room and air conditioning most of the time. Second class is four beds in the same space, of course less room and maybe air conditioning. Third class is six beds in the same space. It all depends on how well you sleep with strangers, how you can cope with less room/privacy and what you want to experience from the trip.

Are there showers on board the train?

None of the trains we caught had showers, although of course the toilets have wash basins. I believe the #1 or #2 trains (the ones that go straight through) do have a shower in 1st class.

If there are any other questions anyone would like answered feel free to post here and I'll do my best to answer.

Hope you enjoyed the trip across Russia!

Next - Kursk in the summertime.

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Enjoy your trip!
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Postby mario vallee » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:25 pm

Wow !
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Postby Doggie3 » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:14 pm

In late July I visited the Kursk battlefields. It was a fairly straightforward overnight train ride to Kursk and then I hired a car for two days to drive around the battlefield area. The highway heads south out of Kursk and then at the point where the Germans made their deepest penetration, there is a large memorial and museum.

Most of the small towns have some form of memorial, and there are also many along the roads through the battle area. I made it to the outskirts of Belgorod but did not enter the city.

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A church in Kursk, framed by an approaching thunderstorm.

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An eternal flame at a small town heading south out of Kursk.

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The eternal flame at Oboyan

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The eternal flame at the furtherest point of 4th Panzer Army's advance. There's also a museum here.

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The memorial to the Russian tank-men (tankists).

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The fields to the south of Prochorovka.

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The memorial at Prochorovka (above) and below, a more understated memorial at the battlefield.

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Signpost for Kursk.

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Lenin in the main square of the town.

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The main square - the building to the right is the House of Soviets.

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The main square looking at the House of Soviets.

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The House of Officers in Kursk.

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Belgorod, Kursk and Moscow.

Cheers,
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Postby Doggie3 » Tue May 05, 2009 7:19 pm

Autumn is a very nice time in Moscow, when the trees start to turn a deep orange and everyone begins to think about the long winter ahead. The days and nights are getting chilly, the beer tents in every park are closed and the girls put their clothes back on...

One of the nicest ways to see Moscow at any time is via a river cruise. The cruises start in May and end in October, and you can ride the river past some of Moscow's famous landmarks. Here are some photos from one of the last boat rides in October last year.

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The stations along the river.

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Not Boring Park (Neschuchny Sad).

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The trees glowing in the sunset.

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Moscow City construction behind the park.

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Moscow University towers above the park.
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Postby Doggie3 » Tue May 05, 2009 7:26 pm

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People and stairs framed by the trees.

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A girl with a leaf hat.

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A church in the Kremlin.

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An apartment building.

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The lights along the river.

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The Christ the Saviour Cathedral and the Patriachs Bridge light up the river.

Cheers,
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Postby Doggie3 » Thu May 07, 2009 2:42 pm

Victory Day here in Russia this weekend. First of the timed rehearsals today so I'll have Russian armour trundling past my window in about 30 mins...although like a kid in a candy shop I'll be out on the footpath getting the full effect ... :wink:

I'm heading up to St.Petersburg for the Victory Day parade there, quite fitting to be there for Victory Day.

Pics of course!

Cheers,
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Postby Noakesy » Thu May 07, 2009 4:54 pm

...and about time too, I think you've been too quiet on the 'pictures' front lately Doggie :wink: :D
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Postby Chris Merchant » Thu May 07, 2009 5:00 pm

crikey, some people are never happy :? :D
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Postby Roger Keating » Fri May 08, 2009 9:10 am

Yea ... where are the pictures of Centurians crossing tower bridge Noakesy .. you must have a camera
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Postby CESteman » Fri May 08, 2009 10:07 am

I can't see any pics right now. I thought it was on my end, so I reset my cookies and still nothing :(
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Postby Noakesy » Fri May 08, 2009 4:51 pm

Roger Keating wrote:Yea ... where are the pictures of Centurians crossing tower bridge Noakesy .. you must have a camera


:lol: I get the sense that Strax is a photography bloke (no, not that kind of photographs.....lease I don't think so :wink: :D ) so maybe he has some pictures of sunny sussex?
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Postby Talos » Fri May 08, 2009 10:19 pm

Noakesy wrote:
Roger Keating wrote:Yea ... where are the pictures of Centurians crossing tower bridge Noakesy .. you must have a camera


:lol: I get the sense that Strax is a photography bloke (no, not that kind of photographs.....lease I don't think so :wink: :D ) so maybe he has some pictures of sunny sussex?


If i remember and still have them about I will try and post some of the photos i took in Kazakstan of the monument to the Great Patriotic War, totally forgot about them until this banter reminded me. :lol:
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Postby Doggie3 » Fri May 08, 2009 11:37 pm

CESteman wrote:I can't see any pics right now. I thought it was on my end, so I reset my cookies and still nothing :(


Anyone else having this problem?

I can see the pics OK...

Cheers,
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Postby Strax » Fri May 08, 2009 11:56 pm

I can't see them on some of my work computers but some of the work pc's are fine and I can always see them at home. Sadly today I can't see them at work.


Do you have to be logged in to see them?
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