Sue's UK Russia and beyond trip 2013 travel blog

My favourite icon - The Trinity

Art Nouveau fire place

Space shuttle as seen from the river cruise

One of Stalin's seven sisters buildings

St Basil's - a view from the river

Golden domes

Today is a public holiday - Independence Day celebrating the break up of the Soviet States. There is a protest movement - "Russia without Putin" supporters wearing white ribbons. We did see one small group surrounded by riot helmeted police and many police cars etc but not sure if they were demonstrating about Putin or the newly passed law banning homosexuality. Such is the distrust of the state that our guide suggested that the heavy rain of the morning was a result of cloud seeding to deter the protesters.

Our first visit via the Metro was to the Tretyakova Museum with a wonderful collection of icons from closed churches and monasteries - great guide leading us through the techniques and styles plus a look at Russian art to about 1910.

Lunch was at My My pronounced Moo Moo - a Russian chain of cafeteria restaurants with a selection of soup, salads, mains desserts all at very reasonable prices- mine 327 roubles about $10.

The afternoon cruise on the Moscow river - exclusive to us- took us past so many wonderful buildings and more and more golden domes and views of the Kremlin.

Now we are relaxing in our next door hotel with free WiFi pianist, glass of wine and snack about to arrive - hard life but someone has to do it.

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