Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4




A second trip to Russia

Part 2: On the grounds of the Kremlin

After our meandering we arrived at the airport. Strolling through the airport was interesting, seeing people saying their good-bye's with tears, and with tears saying hello. Watching nearby children, which is something I enjoy in other countries seemed well behaved and settled.

I was amazed at the state of the machinery to x-ray our belongings. I wanted a
x-ray bib like what they have at the dentist office I thought to myself.

Since there are zero direct terminals to airplane entry, we took a tram to our plane. The tram was in bad shape having holes in the floorboard from rust.

It reminded me of the public transports. I wondered, "What will the plane be like?" as I hung on to the handhold for dear life.

The plane looked nice from the outside, upon entering I realized it probably once was a cargo plane now converted.

The seats were still covered in 1970s orange and avocado green upholstery that smelled terrible, the pull down trays from the seat in front of me were wooden and painted Navy gray, the place where oxygen masks came out were painted shut, the WC were more like latrines. The flight attendants didn't come around checking for seat belts before we took off. I realized I am too civilized, or maybe too western, or maybe from a country with too many laws.

The flight attendants were nice, they knew about as much English as we knew Russian. They wore attractive uniforms with pink lipstick. I hadn't seen pink lipstick since the 1970s. After take off it was snack time. Out rolls a wobbly kitchen type of utility cart, I ordered a Sprite, others ordered beer.

I took a sip of beer and wondered what it was made from, maybe from potatoes: we couldn't decipher the ingredients on the can except for 4.7% alcohol.

My heart fluttered with excitement seeing the landscape as we slowly circled Moscow before landing. Other English-speaking people on the plane admitted, while we were waiting to deplane, how it was the first time God had heard from them in years. I laughed because I understood why after riding air turbulence and a rough landing.

Moscow with 8.5 million residents is a clean city in comparison to Petersburg. Economically, it is more prosperous than St. Petersburg, I assume, because of the Kremlin being located there. The streets were busy with more traffic and were in better repair. We saw Mercedes, Toyota Land Cruisers, nice trams; the people seemed happier and brighter in their countenance. Someone pointed out there was not any trash, then they pointed out there were not any trashcans either. The air smelled clean. Goosebumps were on my arms and on the back of my neck as I shivered. I sighed with disbelief.

We visited the Armory, built in the middle of the 19th century, located on the grounds of the Kremlin. Housed within are cultural relics, including 10 of the 15 exquisite Faberge eggs residing in Russia.

Other keepsakes include thrones, crowns, scepters, carriages, weapons, and art. The lil ole babushka women had a tight guard here.

I had several small run-ins with them about taking pictures, I couldn't understand a word they were saying; I only understood with wild gyrations with their hands.

After reading what they were saying with hand signs, especially pointing at my camera, while reminding me of my visit to the Hermitage, I realized they wanted to see the ticket I purchased to take pictures. Relieved they backed off after showing my ticket, we were off to see the rest of the treasures.

Part 3: Cannons and cathedrals

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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