15 December 2010

Russia - Day Five

It was another sight seeing day for Karen and Kath.  The temperature had dropped drastically to -23 degrees as they headed out North of Moscow to a walled Cathedral City called Sergiev Posad.
The Traditional Russian Dolls were the main items for sale - these vendors were sitting in the sunshine waiting for customers but it was bitterly cold. 

 One of the many stray dogs - this one was lame and a very sad sight to see.
 Some of the older Russian ladies call at the city daily, laden with bags of food for the pigeons and the dogs. 
Well dressed for the bitter breeze. Karen and Kath went through the arch to enter the Cathedral City.  The buildings are beautiful.
 Polina (centre) with her two Russian friends who accompanied Karen and Kath on their visit.
It was a beautiful day for sightseeing, luckily most of the Cathedrals and small shops were open and well heated for a regular thaw out!
Each of the Cathedrals within the walled city was of a different style.
 The magnificent Bell Tower.
 A totally cloudless sky showed these cathedrals at their very best.
 And the sun shone gloriously on the golden parapets.
 This small chapel was the source of the spring water.
The Fountain of "Healing Water" which runs from the small chapel was turned off this day due to the freezing conditions.

The pavements and roads were thick with ice and there was no sign of anyone making it safe for the walking visitors.

Suffering from the increasing cold, the party decided to make the return journey to Moscow City Centre.
 The group soon found warmth underground in the Metro.
The sights were fascinating - each station was of a different design - this station had many bronze life sized statues. 
The superstition is that if you stroke the dog’s nose it will help you to pass your exams – his nose was very shiny indeed! 

 A mosaic picture on the ceiling of another station.
This ceiling was adorned by exquisite chandeliers.  The stations were so busy, many people would not notice the ceilings unless the details were pointed out.   Karen and Kath were very grateful for their knowledgeable guides.
This was the deepest station, where Stalin met with the Russian Government during the war with archways made of solid steel, making it the safest place to be.
The Tube Trains entered each station at incredible speed - deposited and collected their passengers and sped off.  Trains were less than one minute apart which meant no one had to wait long for the next one to arrive.
More mosaic pictures on the ceiling - these were completed in Leningrad in the dark so the "artists" had to memorise where each different coloured mosaic was positioned on the area they worked.

After another long day of interesting sightseeing, Kath and Karen returned to their hotel on the Monorail. 

The following day, they caught their Swissair flights home just before the snow was due in Moscow.

Thanks to everyone who made their stay in Russia so good.
This one featured a soldier and his dog. 

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