Moscow, Russia

The Supreme Fortress of Russia

Marshal Zhukov
Monument to one of the generals considered heroes of the 2nd World War, from Russia.
Glimpse of Saint Basil's Cathedral
Passers-by in silhouette in the middle of Red Square.
Lenin and Nicholas II
Extras of two unavoidable characters in Russian history.
Lenin's Mausoleum
Guard guards the entrance where Vladimir Lenin lies embalmed.
Passion for Minsk
Couple hugging near the monument to the Kremlin's Unknown Soldier.
The cathedral
The great Orthodox Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
Saint Basil's Cathedral vs Kremlin
Dusk colors envelop the Kremlin towers and St Basil's Cathedral.
The Cathedral of Saint Basil
The most famous Orthodox temple in Moscow, a religious symbol of the capital of Russia.
Orthodox Domes
Orthodox "crowns" of one of the Kremlin cathedrals.
De Guarda, in Red Square
Man at the base of the Kremlin walls.
At the Heart of the Kremlin
Colorful alley of the fortified city of Moscow.
By the lakeside of Jardim Alexandre
Passersby around the fountain in Jardim Alexandre, next to the Kremlin.
More Towers of Enchantment yet
Kremlin and Red Square towers.
The Alexander Garden
The bright colors of the Kremlin, above the green of the Alexandre Garden.
By the base of the fortress
Kremlin officials, along an arched facade.
Kremlin above the Moscow River
Boat travels along the Moscow River, with the Kremlin illuminated in the background.
Pilgrimage on Red Square
Visitors cross Red Square at dusk.
fake blonde
Blond young women visiting Red Square.
Between the Kremlin and the Moscow River
Kremlin Towers along the Moscow River.
The State Historical Museum
The grand historic building at the entrance to Red Square.
There were many kremlins built, over time, in the vastness of the country of the tsars. None stands out, as monumental as that of the capital Moscow, a historic center of despotism and arrogance that, from Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, for better or worse, dictated Russia's destiny.

It was like that, until the pandemic spread to Russia.

Anyone returning to the surface at one of the Manege Square subway stations would soon be surprised by the excitement and eccentricity around them. For the first time in our lives, we saw mobile bathrooms decorated with flowery patterns from Russian folklore.

We pass the base of the equestrian statue of Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov, whose planning for the defense of the Soviet Union against the Nazi Invasion made a multi-decorated hero.

Through the arches of the Porta and Capela Ibérica, we can glimpse, in the distance, the arabesque domes of the Cathedral of Saint Basil.

We immerse ourselves in the crowd that flows there. Unexpectedly, a large teddy bear, animated by some resident, blocks us from the sign of the imminent Red Square.

Moments later, a retinue of orthodox priests opens the way and the doors of the tiny temple to a retinue of the faithful. The chapel is full of believers. So that, while the ceremony that brought them together takes place inside, two priests, dressed in black cassocks, follow her from outside.

We crossed the arches to dominate the square. On the other side, positioned at the door of the art store and remembrances Nasledie, two guards in historic uniforms who look like Cossacks to us, pose for the photograph, swords crossed above a visiting family, all members with almond-shaped eyes typical of the eastern reaches of the nation.

Nearby, the extras multiply.

A makes of Tsar Nicholas II. Another one from Lenin. A third of Stalin.

In one of the hiatuses of their business with tourists, Nicholas II and Lenine indulge in a chatter that betrays history.

We pass in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, from which we admire the successive corbel arches, crowned by a solitary golden dome from which an Orthodox cross emerges.

Monumental and elegant as we see it, it stuns us to discover that it is a reconstruction.

Even more unbelievable, the original was ordered to be destroyed in 1936, by express order of the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, Josef Stalin, birthplace georgian, not Russian, we must stress it.

We crossed Nikolskaya Street.

Moscow's Monumental Red Square

On the other side, we finally enter the sacred space of Red Square, the vast expanse of striped cobblestones between the base of the Moscow Kremlin walls and the large GUM building and shopping mall.

Confirmed the collapse of the USSR, after the years of chaos and economic and social hardship of Mother Russia, the overthrow of Communism by inexorable capitalism dictated that the square ceased to be used only for parades, rallies and similar political-military celebrations.

When we walk through it, a good part of its area is occupied by a horticultural exhibition, with plants and flowers kept in small vases, arranged by colors and shapes.

As soon as the window ends, the organizers offer them to visitors. We are thus faced with a frenzy of gardening lovers vying for bromeliads, bougainvillea, orchids and others.

This authorized loot assists in dismantling the nursery for the nightly show that follows, a pop-rock concert followed by fireworks.

The opposite shore, the one adjacent to the Kremlin, remains immune to such confusions and popular upheavals.

Lenin's Mausoleum, Sepulcher of the Early USSR

It is there that, since 1930, has been embalmed at the request of the people, a neighbor of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the founder of the USSR Vladimir Lenin.

Built in black and red marble, shades of mourning and blood, the mausoleum keeps an armed guard almost immobile and keeping an eye on everything.

In particular, in the queue of visitors waiting to enter, depending on their affiliation or sympathy, pay their respects or just observe the body preserved by the tricks of science, the refrigerated sarcophagus and the dismal interior of the building.

Lenin's historical and political importance justifies that the front of the mausoleum often hosts platforms where Russian leaders address the people. In his more than two decades of leadership, Vladimir Putin has spoken there several times.

But if Lenin, Putin and the successive Soviet and Russian leaders in between are present in the mausoleum and in Red Square, the real lair, the seat of their power, is hidden behind the crenellated walls that delimit it.

The images we are used to seeing of President Putin sitting with other world leaders, face to face, at an inflated table, have contributed to a diffuse imagery of the other White House, that of the East.

The Great Kremlin of Russia, Seat of Power of the Nation

Well, the hall in which Putin welcomes, with a distance comparable to that of his Russia from the world, is just one – the fulcrum – of dozens of the five palaces and four Orthodox cathedrals that make up the immense political and religious center (275.000 m2) of Moscow.

the Russian term kremlin defines a stronghold within a city. There are hundreds of Kremlins scattered across the vastness of Russia, as we have seen, Rostov's, one of the most sumptuous.

The one in Moscow, as we now see it, began to be delimited in its triangulated form, by Italian Freemasons, between 1485 and 1495. In the more than half a millennium that it has, it has not always proved impregnable.

At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, it was taken over by Polish and Lithuanian warlords.

In 1812, in the midst of the Russian Campaign, and as a means of asserting French military power, Napoleon Bonaparte razed six of the fortress's various towers.

After the Mad Emperor was expelled, in just seven years the Russians restored the integrity of the kremlin and, apart from the mere home of the tsars, its function of impressing, controlling and oppressing, at one level, Russia and the Russians, at another, as much of the world as possible.

That same afternoon, we went around Red Square and entered its domain. Contrary to what one might think, in times of pre-pandemic and Russian political-military normality, the kremlin it remained, for the most part, visitable and touristy.

Outsiders roamed it.

They prayed in the aisles of their churches.

The Dominating Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church

Including those of the grandiose Cathedrals of the Annunciation and the Dormition with which the orthodox church sought to perpetuate its alliance with power and presence in the fortress. They are both surmounted by golden domes, sorts of missiles of alleged faith aimed at the sky.

During the entire Bolshevik and Soviet period (1918-1991), unscrupulous atheist Communism, established by the Bolsheviks, hijacked the Orthodox Church. He kept it aside.

Especially from 1991 onwards, with the consent of post-Soviet leaders, the priests quickly regained the influence they had with the tsars.

We see visitors admire the Kolokol III bell, which was broken during the great fire of 1737, and other architectural and historical elements and corners of the Kremlin.

The vast, unvisitable slice of the fortress reflects the stronghold in which Russian foreign policy is engendered, in which Putin and his subjects in the nation's government, including the Federal Security Service, devise the necessary measures, often Machiavellian, to perpetuate power. of the pseudo-elected leader.

Arrogance and Paranoia, Long-Time Residents of the Moscow Kremlin

In the Red Keep, paranoia, a longtime ally of despotism, has long kept company with Russian and Soviet leaders.

One of its first residents, Tsar Ivan Valievich, Ivan IV, saw in anyone who appeared before him a conspirator of his end.

Among members of the government, family and “friends”, he ordered the elimination of hundreds of Russians. He even put to death his own son, heir to the throne, whom he beat with an iron cane. Unsurprisingly, Ivan IV earned the nickname “the Terrible”.

In times of previous pandemics, including the no less terrible Spanish Flu, Lenine took refuge in the airtightness of the Kremlin where he equipped his rooms with a private disinfection chamber.

Stalin, his successor, took refuge in the Kremlin from countless assassination attempts, most of them imaginary. He began by forbidding his communist comrades from accessing the fortress.

From the Kremlin, he ended up exiling hundreds of them and thousands of Soviet citizens to the prisons and concentration camps of the growing “GULAG Archipelago”, as you called him Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

The Continuation of Soviet-Russian History in the Hands of Vladimir Putin

All-powerful heir to the Kremlin, Putin also inherited the despotic methods and procedures of the Soviet tsars and dictators.

He unceremoniously dictated numerous imprisonments (for example of Alexei Navalny), the convictions of opponents to death, whether by shooting or through the famous chemical poisoned teas.

And the recent bloody invasion of Ukraine, from which even more catastrophic developments are to be expected.

From this despotic and despicable Soviet and Russian legacy and present, the centuries-old structures of the great Moscow fortress and Red Square continue to emerge, elegant and imposing.

At the opposite end of the Iberian Door and Chapel through which we are used to entering, the Cathedral of Saint Basil seems to hover.

It is, without question, one of the most stunning religious buildings in the world, with its domes in spirals of different colors, drawn like flames from a growing bonfire of faith.

About dusk, we crossed to the far bank of Moscow.

The distance reveals a panoramic kremlin, with its grand palace and cathedrals gilded by artificial light, reflected in the smooth waters of the river that a ferry full of amazed foreigners crosses.

These days, Putin's Russia has lost the charm that, despite everything, it still retained.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Rostov Veliky, Russia

Under the Domes of the Russian Soul

It is one of the oldest and most important medieval cities, founded during the still pagan origins of the nation of the tsars. At the end of the XNUMXth century, incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Moscow, it became an imposing center of orthodox religiosity. Today, only the splendor of kremlin Muscovite trumps the citadel of tranquil and picturesque Rostov Veliky.
Novgorod, Russia

Mother Russia's Viking Grandmother

For most of the past century, the USSR authorities have omitted part of the origins of the Russian people. But history leaves no room for doubt. Long before the rise and supremacy of the tsars and the soviets, the first Scandinavian settlers founded their mighty nation in Novgorod.
Castles and Fortresses

The World to Defense - Castles and Fortresses that Resist

Under threat from enemies from the end of time, the leaders of villages and nations built castles and fortresses. All over the place, military monuments like these continue to resist.
Solovetsky Islands, Russia

The Mother Island of the Gulag Archipelago

It hosted one of Russia's most powerful Orthodox religious domains, but Lenin and Stalin turned it into a gulag. With the fall of the USSR, Solovestky regains his peace and spirituality.
suzdal, Russia

Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia

It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the track of "Crime and Punishment"

In St. Petersburg, we cannot resist investigating the inspiration for the base characters in Fyodor Dostoevsky's most famous novel: his own pities and the miseries of certain fellow citizens.
Saint John of Acre, Israel

The Fortress That Withstood Everything

It was a frequent target of the Crusades and taken over and over again. Today, Israeli, Acre is shared by Arabs and Jews. He lives much more peaceful and stable times than the ones he went through.
suzdal, Russia

The Suzdal Cucumber Celebrations

With summer and warm weather, the Russian city of Suzdal relaxes from its ancient religious orthodoxy. The old town is also famous for having the best cucumbers in the nation. When July arrives, it turns the newly harvested into a real festival.
suzdal, Russia

Centuries of Devotion to a Devoted Monk

Euthymius was a fourteenth-century Russian ascetic who gave himself body and soul to God. His faith inspired Suzdal's religiosity. The city's believers worship him as the saint he has become.
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Bolshoi Zayatsky, Russia

Mysterious Russian Babylons

A set of prehistoric spiral labyrinths made of stones decorate Bolshoi Zayatsky Island, part of the Solovetsky archipelago. Devoid of explanations as to when they were erected or what it meant, the inhabitants of these northern reaches of Europe call them vavilons.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal,

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Architecture & Design
Luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
shadow of success
Ceremonies and Festivities
Champoton, Mexico

Rodeo Under Sombreros

Champoton, in Campeche, hosts a fair honored by the Virgén de La Concepción. O rodeo Mexican under local sombreros reveals the elegance and skill of the region's cowboys.
St. Paul's Cathedral, Vigan, Asia Hispanica, Philippines
Vigan, Philippines

Vigan: the Most Hispanic of Asias

The Spanish settlers left but their mansions are intact and the Kalesas circulate. When Oliver Stone was looking for Mexican sets for "Born on the 4th of July" he found them in this ciudad fernandina
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Cuada village, Flores Island, Azores, rainbow quarter
Aldeia da Cuada, Flores Island, Azores

The Azorean Eden Betrayed by the Other Side of the Sea

Cuada was founded, it is estimated that in 1676, next to the west threshold of Flores. In the XNUMXth century, its residents joined the great Azorean stampede to the Americas. They left behind a village as stunning as the island and the Azores.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
trip around the world, symbol of wisdom illustrated in a window at Inari airport, Finnish Lapland
Around the World - Part 1

Traveling Brings Wisdom. Find out how to travel around the world.

The Earth turns on itself every day. In this series of articles, you will find indispensable clarifications and advice for those who make a point of going around it at least once in their life.
Christmas scene, Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Blue Hole, Gozo Island, Malta
Gozo, Malta

Mediterranean Days of Utter Joy

The island of Gozo is a third the size of Malta but only thirty of the small nation's three hundred thousand inhabitants. In duo with Comino's beach recreation, it houses a more down-to-earth and serene version of the always peculiar Maltese life.
Magnificent Atlantic Days
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil

A Divine Seaside of Bahia

Three decades ago, it was just a remote and humble fishing village. Until some post-hippie communities revealed the Morro's retreat to the world and promoted it to a kind of bathing sanctuary.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Fajãzinha, Ilha das Flores, Confins of the Azores and Portugal
Flores Island, Azores

The Atlantic ends of the Azores and Portugal

Where, to the west, even on the map the Americas appear remote, the Ilha das Flores is home to the ultimate Azorean idyllic-dramatic domain and almost four thousand Florians surrendered to the dazzling end-of-the-world that welcomed them.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Natural Parks
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
UNESCO World Heritage
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, Caribbean, Punta Cahuita aerial view
cahuita, Costa Rica

Dreadlocked Costa Rica

Traveling through Central America, we explore a Costa Rican coastline as much as the Caribbean. In Cahuita, Pura Vida is inspired by an eccentric faith in Jah and a maddening devotion to cannabis.
Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
El Tatio Geisers, Atacama, Chile, Between ice and heat
the tattoo, Chile

El Tatio Geysers – Between the Ice and the Heat of the Atacama

Surrounded by supreme volcanoes, the geothermal field of El Tatio, in the Atacama Desert it appears as a Dantesque mirage of sulfur and steam at an icy 4200 m altitude. Its geysers and fumaroles attract hordes of travelers.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.