Moscow: Lots and Lots and Lots of Pictures of Red Square and the Kremlin

You’ve been warned by the title of this post!

More Fun in St Petersburg (Another Photo Gallery)

I got to spend the rest of the time in St. Petersburg with a good friend of mine from college. We walked all over the historic center city!

Arrival in St Petersburg! Pictures from My First Day or Two

I was so excited to arrive in St Petersburg, and spent a lot of time in the Hermitage!

Nizhny Novgorod Gallery

You got a preview when I realized that I could post pictures from my phone on the WordPress blog app, now here’s the real thing!

Three More Days on the Train: Irkutsk to Nizhny Novgorod Gallery

More scenes of taiga, more snow, more birches…

Cartier on Karl Marx Street Gallery: Irkutsk and Lake Baikal

I fell in love with Irkutsk, and I think you’ll see why (including the Decembrist Trubetskoy Manor and lots of views of the River Angara…and even another Lenin statue, since they’re ubiquitous, even if far from my favorite statues):

The incredible blue ice at Lake Baikal (and scenes from Listvyanka):

The Volkonsky Manor, a Decembrist’s home in exile:

Leaving Irkutsk:

Around Baikal: Photos from the Trans-Siberian between Ulan Ude and Irkutsk

My shortest leg of the Trans-Siberian was between Ulan Ude and Irkutsk, around the gorgeous scenery of Lake Baikal.

Ulan Ude: A Gallery

My first day in Ulan Ude, I explored the older part of town. On the second day, I went out to the Ivolginsky Datsan, the center of Russian Buddism.

The Transsiberian from Vladivostock to Ulan Ude: A Gallery

The first part of my overlanding across Russia: almost three days on the Rossiya to Ulan Ude.

Trojan Gold: Last Day in Moscow

My last day in Moscow, I resolved to try one last time to get through Red Square to see St Basil’s. Imagine my surprise when I was actually successful! Better yet, apparently it was the free Thursday (though if it not being free would have reduced the crowds, I’d have been ok with the trade-off).

St Basil’s is a rabbit warren of little chapels, mostly empty on the ground floor. Due to the crowds, I almost missed going upstairs, which would have been a real shame as it was the prettiest part of the cathedral, with frescos and icons from different periods in the different chapels. It also gave a good view south over the city to another of the Seven Sisters.

I then walked to the Pushkin Museum of Art, specifically to see the Trojan Gold room. Walking there took a bit of a detour: Moscow is a city of underpasses, and the route I had chosen had no way to cross the street. I backtracked to the State Library and continued on. Again I was lucky and didn’t have to pay an entrance fee. I went straight to the Troy room.

All that went through my mind when I got there was Keat’s poem “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”. (Unlike some of my friends, I cannot declaim Homer himself.) The display was pretty spectacular. Most of it is just loops of gold, most exciting for its context. However, the diadems and earrings that Schliemann draped on his wife for the famous photographs were magnificent: