Moscow. Lenin, Gorky Park and a Soviet Space Shuttle!

Red Square, MoscowSunday morning we headed into Red Square to meet our friend Sean who had just arrived from St Petersburg, we spotted him straight away and took it in turns to visit the Lenin Mausoleum {this saved us having to check our bags and phones in before entering, which was appeared hugely time-consuming}. Without a bag or phone I soon found myself free of the queue and walking past memorials set into the Kremlin wall on the one-way route to the brooding granite cube. Entering into the darkness of the mausoleum from the bright sunlight of Red Square was blinding, the dark stone steps are almost invisible. Mausoleum guards keep you quiet and moving, hats must be removed. In the heart of the monument is the glass box containing the mummified body of Lenin. He looked small, dressed in a dark suit, his pallid skin looked like wax, to such a degree that is hard to comprehend that it is an actual body.

I was soon out into the sunlit square again, walking passed the tombs of Soviet heroes such as Gagarin, Stalin and Brezhnev. Walking out of Red Square we passed the Eternal Flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier against the outer Kremlin wall.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Moscow

In the afternoon we took a walk to Gorky Park, a scenic route which took us past the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which had big screens beaming out the sunday service within.

The northern end of Gorky park had a great, riverside view of the huge Peter the Great Statue standing on the tip of Bolorny Island. It is quite a sight to behold!

Peter the Great. Moscow

Before you reach the entrance to Gorky Park you reach the curiously fascinating Graveyard of Fallen Monuments. Here are some of the carved relics of the Soviet era, Lenins and Stalins with broken noses, brought here to see out their days among the strollers and the picnickers.

Graveyard of Fallen Monuments. Moscow

Beyond the mighty columned entrance is Gorky Park, it has had a bit of a make-over in recent years and no longer has an amusement park. I would love to say we explored the new design but much of it was closed off as the winter ice rink was being constructed. Our feet were also feeling a bit tired, we happened to notice the space shuttle Buran perched near the river just as we were about to leave. It’s not often you get to be so close to a USSR space ship so we had a little look. We couldn’t get inside, which is what I really would have loved to see.

Gorky Park, Moscow

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That evening we met up with our travel friend Sean and went for dinner, it was such a beautiful night that we went to see Red Square all lit up afterwards. It looked so amazing, the buildings were floodlit and the department store GUM was festooned with fairy lights. I propped my camera up on my bag and took a few long exposure shots to try to capture it. Suddenly we had a girl hugging us, it was Yana, our Free Tour guide from St Petersburg! What a lovely surprise! She was in Moscow for a gig and was out with a friend walking a dog.

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So our time in Moscow was almost up. It is a different beast to St Petersburg and more thrilling for it. You need to work harder for the rewards, there is little English but once you get into the swing of it, it becomes much easier.

Red Square, Moscow

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2 responses to “Moscow. Lenin, Gorky Park and a Soviet Space Shuttle!

  1. I love that pic of the GUM dept store at night, so cool! And seeing the space shuttle would be great too – it looks very similar to the US space shuttles. My big question with the famous tombs is if it’s a real body – much cheaper to substitute a realistic mannequin. I wonder the same thing about Mao in China. What do you think, was it really Lenin’s body?

    • A googled Buran to find out about it, apparently they copied to a certain degree the US shuttles! I don’t think this particular one ever made it into space though, it’s brothers did.
      I think it probably is real, it looked a little like Ho Chi Minh, who we saw in Vietnam. We’ll try and take a look at Mao to compare! Complete the trilogy!

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