Thr, Jun 3 (Day 10): From Novgorod to Moscow

After breakfast, we will delight in a full day’s scenic drive through picturesque villages to the Tver region. On our arrival we’ll enjoy an included lunch. Then our journey takes us on to Klin, once home of Tchaikovsky, before arriving in Moscow. (Buffet breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
Hotel: Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya

We may not "delight" (per the formal itinerary above) as we ride on the bus through the countryside toward Moscow, but there are some interesting sites. The next few pictures illustrate the typical countryside Russian housing.

Sorry we didn't capture an example of a house with a satillite dish, but it seems about 1 or 2 houses in 10 has one. The dishes are all pointing horizontally toward the horizon, so the satellite they use is very low in the sky; not ideal for a strong signal.

We're impressed with how many of the houses, though old, are well-maintained by the owners. Little gardens, manicured yards, and detailed window treatments are not uncommon.
There are also many large rivers between St. Petersburg and Moscow. Here's the Volga, inspiring the bus to sing, "Yo, yo, heave, ho. ..."
Since it is a long day on the bus, we have stopped here for lunch. Included was borsh, a soup that was fortunately better tasting than it looked.
Linda, across the table, ready for lunch.
Our hotel for the next three nights is the Lenningrad Hilton (in Moscow). It is housed in a "Stalin Skyscraper," a common design for large buildings that Stalin sponsored. They completely renovated the inside for this recently opened Hilton, which includes a 110 electrical outlet!
Our dinner this evening was served at the hotel. The table centerpieces were constructed of cotten, something I've never seen before as decoration. The meal was absolute fantastic: grilled salmon, vegetables, etc.
This evening, we took the subway into central Moscow. This is the subway station.
A shot of the escalator in teh subway. It is very much like the subway in London.
However, inside the subway stations, it is nothing like London. Look at the artwork on the ceiling and walls.
This is an example of the wall artwork.
Here is a tile mosaic. The guide says the people look like models, nothing like real-life russians. She says this is to promote the ideal, rather than reflect real life.
Here is another scene in the subway. Most of the artwork celebrates some social good, such as unions or family life. Some would call it propaganda, but there is also a perspective that looks at it as simply reinforcing the social values, similar to the works of Norman Rockwell.
Even in the subway, Lenin is watching over you. It is surprising how much his image is repeated throughout Russia, probably more than Peter the Great. The guide implies that modern russians, while look down on communism, still revere Lenin and somehow seperate him from the evils of the revolution. It is revealing that our guide says about 70% of russians support Putin; she says they value security and stability above freedom. I believe Thomas Jefferson said something about losing both with that attitude.
This statue of a dog is considered a good luck charm by the people; they touch it for luck as they pass between trains, which is why a portion of the statue is worn.
This is the clocktower in Red Square. We did a brief tour of this area late this evening, and will return tomorrow. I'll defer other photos to the next page. In the meantime, click here to hear the clock chime (which happens every 15 minutes) and the first two gongs of the 10 it rang out tonight.