>Cynthia arrived in Moscow on Friday afternoon, Day 49. Before she arrived, I had the chance to walk around the city some more and check out the sights. I went into the GUM retail mall to check it out. This building was originally built in 1890 and lines the entire Eastern side of Red Square. It is absolutely beautiful, both Inside and out…
..with an all glass vaulted ceiling (like the Musee d’orsay in Paris). It is now an upscale shopping mall (I felt like Mel Simon had invaded Russia–it feels like something right out of Las Vegas :-), with stores such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, etc. It had previously been a huge “state universal store” or department store. People would line up outside before it opened, not even knowing what might be available that day.
The weather is beautiful here, by the way, so I did what the locals do, and I had a hot dog in the park for lunch. Just like home!
I tried to stroll through Red Square again, but it was all blocked off. I found out later that it had been Lenin’s birthday and some dignitaries were paying their respects to him at the mausoleum within Red Square, which actually houses his embalmed body. You can go into the mausoleum to see him, but I will pass on that myself. I had gone to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi on my first trip to Vietnam, and I thought it was weird and freaky.
After Cynthia arrived, we went to an authentic Russian restaurant for dinner, where they had some Russian singers. Then we strolled over to Red Square to see it all lit up in the evening. Spectacular!
Tomorrow, Saturday, we will do a tour of the sights and go to the Moscow circus.
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