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Journeys to Russia



A few pictures from our three weeks long journey to Henrik's Grandma and Grand Grandma during the summer 2007 and 2008, so far.
There are still around 1000 photos from 2007 and about 800 from 2008 for me to go through, I sincerely hope this will be done during this second winter.
So, please be patient!


Stockholm/Arlanda -- Moscow/Sheremetyevo

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Aeroflot Sky Team's Airbus A319-111 with registration number VP-BWJ and named after the composer Alfred Schnitke got the opportunity, or honour, to take us both to and from Moscow. :-)


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Both trips were eventless and very nice, except from some small vibrations during dinner, and windy when landing on the return to Arlanda.
Oh, I forgot, at 35,000 feet the captain did put the engines on idle for a while, descending, and making a few turns around a non-visible weather system, probably to let us enjoy our meal in peace and quiet, and that we sure did!
Thank you very much!


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Waiting for dinner? Soon!


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A few pleasant views at the inflight to Sheremetyevo Airport north of Moscow.


I think this lake belongs to a water system stretching far north of Moscow.
You can travel by boat for many days before reaching its end.


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Even before we turned left to the taxi lane, another aircraft landed behind us!







 Or, a few chosen parts of this huge city! :-)







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Can you imagine?
We found a free parking space as close as one can drive into the Red Square just below the Saint Basil Cathedral




The limousine parked closer for the compulsory photography session of a just married couple in front of the Lenin Mausoleum, but only under supervision of a policeman. :-)


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The first glimpse of Lenin's Mausoleum.



Black Granite and Red Quartzite.
Very impressive!

It's open for visitors daily, but no photographing is allowed inside.




Yuri Gagarin's plaque in the wall touched me most of all.
Baravitskie Varota (Baravitski's Gate) to the right is for us foreigners the gate seen on TV during Sovjet times, where dignitaries in big black limousines came crossing the Red Square in 60 miles/hour disappearing into this much too narrow gate!
Between us only, I have measured it up, and a big limo has about three feet free space on each side.
I suppose only special drivers was allowed to use the gate! :-)




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The Vasilij Cathedral, or in English Saint Basil's Cathedral with Moscow River behind and below.

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The Kremlin Wall alongside Moscow River...



...ends in southeast with the Beklemishevskaya Tower, and the Red Square begins...


...and here is this famous balcony on Bolshoy Moskvoretskiy Most (Grand Old Bridge Over Moscow River), which is the very same place practically all foreign TV-reporters use when broadcasting news from Russia.




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On our way past the Museum of History towards Alexandrovski Park  we happened to stumble over an old friend that had stepped out of his office in the background for a stroll in the park,
Good afternoon Vladimir Vladimirovich!
A pleasant reunion!


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The Grave of Unknown Soldier.




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Kremlin seen from inside the Alexandrovski Park.




Outside The Manege


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The statues depicts parts of Russian fairytales.


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At all my six or seven visits to Moscow has either the tickets been sold out, or the building been under renovation, inside one year, outside another. 
What I'm talking about?
The Bolshoj Theatre of coarse!




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Moscow State University.

The red arrow points at the window where a web camera is placed.
Enjoy the view here!

Have a look at the website for fantastic pictures of Moscow and Muscivites! 

Do also visit translated to English. Many links however cease to function in this version.






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The complex is huge

Google Maps


Another web cam with various views from MDM Bank

Котировки FOREX




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When I bubbling of happiness shouted out that this was the third time I managed to photograph the same ambulance in a few days, Margarita quickly damped my enthusiasm by reminding me that 03 was the emergency telephone number for ambulances. Sigh!




Electric buses is very good for the local environment.
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Several towers like this has grown up the last ten years.



A nicely renovated building from the eighties.




Probably a transport to the Zoo, according to the mudguard. :-)


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A different limo.



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It's a rather complicated electric power line network, for both buses and trams, which I believe drive on separate systems.




A little tight!
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Tram Café Annushka.
Route N39
24 seats
Armenian cuisine, wine, beer
Reservation available
Mo-Fr 15-24, Sa, Su 12-24.


We were actually looking for the café tram, but it was cancelled due to renovation of the tram! :-(

The Tram Café Annushka

A Tram Parade




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What a shower!
Note the Swedbank office on the corner. I think it is the only one in Moscow.
The Swedbank at home have promised they do still have the key to my Old-Oak shaped money-box they gave me as a child half a century ago!
I believe in, and trust them!



Fastest vehicles in the fast lanes!?


One way of getting your brakes rinsed.
Wonder if he will try the brakes before he really needs them?


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A United Russia!




This type of chain bridge was first built across The Thames in Marlow in England, then across the river Danube in Budapest, and here across Moscow River.
It's like a giant Meccano!



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Outside the permanent circus building (one of four different in Moscow)



Yes, Margarita did hurt her back in a collision later on!
I never say, what did I tell you?
I'm not that kind of person.




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Look, how scared the platoon of soldiers are after their encounter with "Henrik the Terrible", or, "Trigger Happy HenkePenke"




It was really fun, but it lasted only a few more minutes more before it ceased to function. Sigh!
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Meal MacFresh!




I promised the chef not to take  pictures with people visible.
I have kept the promise! ;-)




Big Tasty & Chicken Premium!
That wasn't too hard to read, eh?



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Heading home after a whole day downtown.






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Flowers and fruits for sale.



Highrise buildings vs country houses. Old and new!




At the Zoo



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The Zoo entrance is over there to the left, at last!



Moscow Zoo entrance. I'm beginning to get used to find the best parking places, like this one just outside the entrance!




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Lidija and Margarita.





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Please, give me a breath of fresh air!




...just a tiny pinch... ...thanks!
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Oh! A rare sample of a baby boy of the species Homo Sapiens Vareagi, at Moscow Zoo.




MoscowZoo (43).JPG (141062 byte) This is usually how animals treats me when I'm trying to photograph them, they turn their side or behind towards me.
They don't show me the respect I'm worth!
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She's a Lady!




He's a brute! But they sure had nice kids!
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Look! Now she is spotting me...

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...and then she turns away!

Can you believe this?
A Wolf in Moscow Centre!




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She spots me...




...and turn the other way!


But here it's the opposite! I will soon turn the other way, because the guy to the left spotting me, demanded one hundred roubles for me taking this photograph!
He got nothing, Njeto! :-)




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Yuri Kuklachev's Cat's Theatre

Театр Кошек Юрия Куклачева


Kutuzovskiy Prospect, Building No 25, Moscow.


If you ever get a chance to visit the theatre, no matter of age or what language you speak, do take it!
You will not regret it!

In the meantime, do take a peak here at their website

Filming and photographing was only allowed before and after the performance.

Yuri Kuklachev and his family has been taking care of and trained cats and showed them at their theatre since the 1970:s, so practically everybody under forty now living in the former Sovjet states are familiar with Yuri Kuklachev and his cats! 
A couple of thousand Americans and Englishmen have got the opportunity to enjoy the show when on tour in their countries.  It's only the rest of us that didn't have a clue!
I'm trying to change that! ;-)





Moscow Railway Museum


The museum is located at the Rizhskiy Vochsal (Riga Terminal), in the north of central Moscow. 



View a placemark at Google Earth

or, at Google Maps


The museum does apparently not have a website of their own yet.


Let's begin with a movie from the steam train excursion.
The event begins at Noon with a guided tour through the entire outdoor part of the museum consisting of two full length platforms with three tracks, filled with trains from early last century until today, well, yesterday then.
The humorous and dedicated guide talks (in Russian only) for an hour in a way that not only train bums get interested, but anyone!
Before it's time for the steam train excursion one can visit the indoor museum and enjoy their beautiful models in different scales, and most of all, the fantastic model railroad in H0 scale! I believe it's built by professionals and architects and is outstanding! Don't ever miss this exhibition if you are in the neighbourhood!
A sort of once-in-a-lifetime-experience for us, but for Muscovites living nearby it's just another day on the railroad! No one living near the railroad can escape from the engineer's repeatedly blowing the whistle at least thirty times during the entire journey! ;-)
The museum train departs every day at one o'clock (but be there before noon), and run two stations down the Riga line to Krasni Baltietz (Red Baltic) depot in a speed of around 60-65 km/h, where passengers leave the train at the commuter train platform and take a walk across a bridge to the depot and join the engine again, now without cars, and participate in the filling of the tender with fresh water, and turning the engine on the turntable. 
After a nice chat with the guide and engineer, one of two only licensed steam engineers in the entire Moscow region, passengers can take the elektrishka (commuter train) back to the museum.

Did I mention that this event was all free of charge, no admission fee for the museum, neither the guided tour, nor the steam train journey!

We had a marvellous day!

Please enjoy the movie here!

A shorter version here!

This is a slide show with the still pictures I managed to take between the movie shots.
It's sometimes rather difficult to take pictures and movies and at the same time fully enjoy an event like this.
I did my very best. ;-)






Victory Park

Park Pobedy, Poklonnaya Gora, the Hill of Respectful Salutation or Bowing Hill


The open air military museum

A movie from the tourist train with an audioguide.

Please enjoy this slide show from our visit to the park.







Where Henrik's Grandma Lidija lives.



View a placemark at Google Earth.
A placemark at Google Maps.

The community Razvilka have their own website, by obvious reasons in Russian only,
but this link goes to the resident's public photo gallery of the neighborhood.




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The American F117 Night Hawk,
in a Moscow suburb!
How did this happen?







The Royal Park



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The first day of our visit Henrik's Grandma Lidija took us to a bicycle store in Kohovskaya because she wanted to give him a present, and together we picked out a wonderful bike. 



High glossy polished lightweight pure aluminium.
It has three gears built in the hub, foot brake for the rear, and handbrake for the front wheel.



Easy handling because of the low weight, and despite it was a number or two too big for Henrik, a couple of days later he jumped on it and disappeared just like he had not done anything else in his whole life! :-)


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When we came back home to Sweden three weeks later, it showed that Henrik had grown out of his three months old 16 inch bicycle, and it was impossible to ride despite the luxury with both front and rear suspension.
Off we went to the bicycle store once again! But this time it was impossible to find such a beautiful lightweight aluminium bike, it doesn't seem to be hip here for the moment.




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In the background... ...the Grand Apple Tree Garden...



...with its enclosure for the beehives.
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Our Lady From Kazan.
The Virgin Maria Church.




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The Red Gate.

Both the left and right wing are exhibition rooms.

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The Bell Tower of Saint George.
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By a reason I haven't got the full explanation of, I have under no circumstances understood the reason anyway,
I just know I'm not allowed to post this picture.
So this is a non-existing picture.
Remember this!





World Heritage Site of The Church of the Ascension


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Google Earth
Google Maps

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Across the ravine, on a steep hill with Moscow river on the other side is John The Baptist Church situated.
Built in I believe a transitional style between The Ascention Church and Saint Basil's Cathedral on The Red Square.
It's under renovation, so a closer look have to wait till next visit.
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Seen from the long walk, a little to the left, the old oak tree and the apple tree garden behind.




Also seen from the long walk, a little to the right, Peter The Greats cottage up in a glade in the grove.





Tsar Peter The Great's Cottage





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PeterTheGreatsCottage (07).JPG (392037 byte) Tsar Peter The Great's Cottage
дом Пётр I Алексеевич



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Tsar Peter The Great lived in this house, while supervising the construction of his fleet in Archangelsk. The cottage is re-erected here in the park of Kolomenskoye, the former Royal estate, so beautifully managed, with its white churches and the old oak trees that makes it so tranquil.


The estate reaches all the way down the slope to Moscow River, and much further south along the river than the paths allow.
Read about Peter The Great at
and about the park and World Heritage Site at



PeterTheGreatsCottage (05).JPG (304095 byte) Google Earth
Google Maps


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Read the full story about Kolomenskoye by Joost Lemmens.



KolomenskoyeRestaurants.JPG (265719 byte) The Restaurants in the park wasn't opening until later in the afternoon. KolomenskoyeRestaurants1.JPG (179177 byte)







The Royal Park












 Where Henrik's Grand Grandma Antonina lives, in the village named Selsko-Hazaistvenaya Technika (SHT)


View a placemark at Google Earth.
A placemark at Google Maps.




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All four generations together!
A mood of joy and tears.



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Ramenskoye / Zhukovsky

Раменское / Жуковский





Enjoy a 360 degree picture of Andrei and Nadja's summer house



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See what we missed, MAKS 2007, one of the biggest air shows in the world, just because we had to go home on, I think the 19th of August.


View a placemark at Google Earth.
A placemark at Google Maps.
The monument over what the industries in the former almost "secret" city Zhukovsky have achieved.
Zhukovsky Air Base do have the longest airstrip in Europe, and one of the longest in the world with its length of 5,5 km.













The Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve


View their website at here.


View a placemark at Google Earth.
A placemark at Google Maps.




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This is the front cover from the Park's broschure.
Visitors will probably not so often be able to get this close to a family of Bisons.




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Russian forest!


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National Park
(Without a guide, I assume?!)


The differences and similarities for the American Bison and its European counterpart Vicent.





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The entrance to the park. We all had to walk through this house with a flooring of antibacterial wood chips to prevent spreading of diseases.  




Our Guide.
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I think Henrik was angry with me, because I told him to be quiet when the guide spoke. It was forgotten a few minutes later, both the anger and what I told him. ;-)



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A big guy!



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He is actually huge!

Have a view in the movie below, and compare his size with the guide feeding him with snacks.
I think she mentioned a weight between 900-1200 Kg (1800-2400 lb).

But, He is cute, and gentle.


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View a short movie with this gentle young bull!



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I guess this is a European Bison... ...and this his counterpart, the American Bison.
They are kept apart from each other, no mishaps are allowed!



The herds usually consists of 12-15 animals.



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Out again, disinfecting the shoes both ways.



PriokskoTerrasnyMuseum1.JPG (372569 byte) The Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve Museum. PriokskoTerrasnyMuseum2.JPG (369313 byte)
The Museum.  



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I can not explain all this, only that the park is situated in a very special place that makes it representing climate and growth zones from almost the northern taiga to the southern steppe. It's possible because of its differences in altitude from the heights down to the river Oka.




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Former visitors had actually broke off his tusks!

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It was a rather small museum, made with devotion.



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The displays showed probably all animals and plants worth mentioning from the area, maybe from the entire northern hemisphere. 


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I believe it would take a very long time to find every detail embedded in each display. :-)



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Thank you very much for this remarkable day!





Heading back





After more than three weeks in Russia, we had to go home.


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An hour's drive on the ringway.


I wonder if IKEA have their own road signs all the way out on motorways in other countries? ;-)


AeroflotAirbus (17).JPG (115834 byte) When entering the gate at Sheremetyevo Airport it was a pleasant surprise to find the very same aircraft that flew us over here, Alfred Schnitke!


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To me an unusual view of Sky City, connecting terminal 5 (the closest building) and terminal 4 (to the far right) at Arlanda airport.
I'm more used to be inside watching out, seeing others fly away! :-)


Such a nice welcome!


It took us about an hour to get our luggage, getting through the customs, finding the car, and finally out on the entrance to the motorway looking up the sky seeing The Sky Team's Airbus A319 departing back to Moscow.

A beautiful sight, with mixed emotions!


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Strange, this Mercedes is not for the average Swede. A more probable owner would be a Muscovite, but we did actually pass it on the motorway from the airport towards Stockholm city! :-)





















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