Saturday, 13 August 2011
It's midnight in MOSCOW
Hi ya folks!
Donald and I have enjoyed our time in Beijing. We hear you have been having riots at home. Well, why don't you come and join us as we leave China and head west to Russia. 'She' is really pleased with this one. Apparently, 'she' and a friend spent the New Year or 'Midnight in Moscow' in 1976. We keep telling her that things have changed since the communist days of the USSR. Apparently, she learned the Russian alphabet and some of the language to 'O' level standard at school. She can only remember a few words now, but it helped her with the Greek alphabet.
"Come on Sofia...get a move on. We are about to take off."
"OK, seatbelts fastened. Enjoy a good book. Let's hit the skies."
1. Moscow (Moskva in Russian) is the capital of Russia; in Eastern Europe/Asia.
2. It is named after the river on which it stands - The Moskva
3. It is situated on the west side of the Russian Federation.
4. It has been a Republic since 1991.
5. The main language is Russian, although English, French and German are spoken by some people.
6. The main religion is Christianity, (Russian Orthodox). Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish minorities do exist.
7. The currency is the Rouble. 1 Rouble = 100 kopeks.
8. This capital was founded in 1147, but there is evidence of previous settlements.
9. The focal point is the Red Square.
10. The Kremlin is on one side of Red Square, it is surrounded by a thick red fortress wall. The Kremlin contains twenty very ornate towers and today it is the home of the Russian President. It is also one of the World Heritage sites in the city.
11. In Red Square is, the well-known landmark, St. Basil's Cathedral.
12. The Lenin Mausoleum is still in Red Square. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924. People still visit, but the changing of the guard which attracted many visitors was discontinued in 1993.
13. The State Historical Musem is also in Red Square.
14. Moscow boast 96 parks and 18 gardens including 4 Botanical gardens. It also has a large area of green zones and forests. It is a very 'green' city in comparison with others, of similar size, in Europe.
15. Moscow is the home of the world famous Bolshoi Ballet; Bolshoi simply means 'big'!
16. It is a cultural city having 93 cinemas, 132 theatres and 24 concert halls.
17. There are two large circuses, the Moscow State Circus and the Moscow Circus.
18.Moscow is one of the largest city economies in Europe and has the lowest unemployment rate in the Federation of Russia.
19. It is the financial centre of Russia.
20. If you are a resident of Moscow, you are a Moskvitch (English, Muscovite)
"She's finished, Sofia, so guess we'll be landing soon."
"We'll head for the Red Square, I think Donald. Have you noticed how she's been showing her knowledge of Russian? Bolshoi means 'big'! She saw a performance of the Bolshoi, didn't she?"
"Yes, Sofia and she stood outside on New Year's Eve watching the changing of the guard on Lenin's tomb when it was 30 below freezing!"
"She was bonkers in her youth!"
"Just in her youth, Sofia? Anyway, she is talking about her trip to Russia and other things in an interview with Sarah Butland this week. www.SarahButland.com
"Oh, I can't wait!"
"Well, you will have to, until Tuesday. Good things are worth waiting for."
"OK. We've landed, let's go and do you know what in the Red Square."
Thought for the week:It is true that liberty is precious: so precious that it must be rationed. (V I Lenin, The State and Revolution, 1917)