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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Architecture & Design

the last address

From the grandiose tombs of Novodevichy, in Moscow, to the boxed Mayan bones of Pomuch, in the Mexican province of Campeche, each people flaunts its own way of life. Even in death.
The small lighthouse at Kallur, highlighted in the capricious northern relief of the island of Kalsoy.
Kalsoy, Faroe Islands

A Lighthouse at the End of the Faroese World

Kalsoy is one of the most isolated islands in the Faroe archipelago. Also known as “the flute” due to its long shape and the many tunnels that serve it, a mere 75 inhabitants inhabit it. Much less than the outsiders who visit it every year, attracted by the boreal wonder of its Kallur lighthouse.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Ceremonies and Festivities
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
, Mexico, city of silver and gold, homes over tunnels
Guanajuato, Mexico

The City that Shines in All Colors

During the XNUMXth century, it was the city that produced the most silver in the world and one of the most opulent in Mexico and colonial Spain. Several of its mines are still active, but the impressive wealth of Guanuajuato lies in the multicolored eccentricity of its history and secular heritage.
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.

The World on Stage

All over the world, each nation, region or town and even neighborhood has its own culture. When traveling, nothing is more rewarding than admiring, live and in loco, which makes them unique.
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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Portfolio Got2globe

The Best in the World – Got2Globe Portfolio

Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, New Caledonia, Greater Calhau, South Pacific
Grande Terre, New Caledonia

South Pacific Great Boulder

James Cook thus named distant New Caledonia because it reminded him of his father's Scotland, whereas the French settlers were less romantic. Endowed with one of the largest nickel reserves in the world, they named Le Caillou the mother island of the archipelago. Not even its mining prevents it from being one of the most dazzling patches of Earth in Oceania.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
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.
Rancho Salto Yanigua, Dominican Republic, mining stones
Montana Redonda and Rancho Salto Yanigua, Dominican Republic

From Montaña Redonda to Rancho Salto Yanigua

Discovering the Dominican northwest, we ascend to the Montaña Redonda de Miches, recently transformed into an unusual peak of escape. From the top, we point to Bahia de Samaná and Los Haitises, passing through the picturesque Salto Yanigua ranch.
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.
Natural Parks
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
blessed rest
UNESCO World Heritage
Hoi An, Vietnam

The Vietnamese Port That Got to See Ships

Hoi An was one of the most important trading posts in Asia. Political changes and the siltation of the Thu Bon River dictated its decline and preserved it as the most picturesque city in Vietnam.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
view mount Teurafaatiu, Maupiti, Society Islands, French Polynesia
Maupiti, French Polynesia

A Society on the Margin

In the shadow of neighboring Bora Bora's near-global fame, Maupiti is remote, sparsely inhabited and even less developed. Its inhabitants feel abandoned but those who visit it are grateful for the abandonment.
Cambodia, Angkor, Ta Phrom
Ho Chi Minh a of Angkor, Cambodia

The Crooked Path to Angkor

From Vietnam onwards, Cambodia's crumbling roads and minefields take us back to the years of Khmer Rouge terror. We survive and are rewarded with the vision of the greatest religious temple
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.