Two Moscows: Mother Russia and Red Russia

Red Square.  The Kremlin.  St. Basil’s Cathedral.  Ivan the Terrible.  Lenin.  Stalin.  It’s hard to grasp how many places and names are directly associated with this great city.  We’ve returned from a busy day in which we say both Holy Russia and Red Russia.  That is, we toured the Kremlin’s churches (“Kremlin” is just another word for “fortress” in Russian) in the morning and saw some of the splendour of the Kremlin Armoury, with its jewels, imperial carriages, Faberge eggs, and Muscovite weaponry.

The wealth made relevant our verse for the day, from Matthew 6:  “Do not store up treasures on earth…”!

We enjoyed a noon meal in the famous State Department Store (“GUM”) across from Red Square, and then in the afternoon we took in the Lenin Mausoleum, looked on at the last resting place of Stalin, and walked along the way to the former KGB headquarters, the “Lubuanka”.  It was clear over the evening meal that it was time for us to have our first evening where we’d just stay put, and so we did!

Tomorrow marks our last full day in Moscow, and in Russia itself.  How the time moves on!

— Leonard Friesen

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