Saturday, July 04, 2009

My Russian trip June 2009

Well, I got to go to Moscow, Russia again this last June and have been asked to go to Bulgaria this coming August.
Sorry that I do not not have any pics to share, but there was a mixup and all of the pics that I downloaded for them & deleted to take more for them did not get put unto a disc for me as was said.
Points of Interest to me:
This was my 3rd trip but 2nd time at this location. It is Almaz camp located in a little town called Russo, approx. 62 miles outside of Moscow. So this town is pertty unscathed by tourism & is a town used byMoscow families as a vacation spot.
As stated before, the traffic & driving through Moscow is incredibly slow & bumber to bumber using all lanes (including the shoulders as lanes and the middle turn area as a lane for which ever direction gets it first!) An 1/2 hour drive normally takes approx. 2-3 hours!
Most of the houses have alluminum roofsa & lluminum edging under the windows. The old houses are not too much different from our old houses except in some rural areas they all look like barn shapes. Most of the houses have security gates. The larger motel/holtel looking ones are in compounds called territories and are totally fenced and gated in with security guards. All of the Apartments in Moscow have metal storage buildings lined up along the side walk & the people drive their cars upon the sidewlak & into their metal storage container garage if they have a car, otherwise, it is for their storage of there belongings. Most of the people in Moscow use the Metro as their transportation like New Yorkers use the subway. There are three wheels around moscow going out from the center to the subburbs with approx. 11 spokes going from the center accross the circles to the rural area with approx. 12-15 stops per spoke. When I went up to check out some of the various stops, there was either a McDonalds or Kentucky Fried Chicken or both at every one of them. LOL
Well, I am sure that I have alot of other observations to make, but will address them later & hopefully with pics.
There is a store not far from the gate of each one. They are little stores that you tell & sellect what you want to the cashier then they will get it for you and give it to you after you pay for it. In the small town of Russo there is a little store approx. every 5-6 blocks. I found what was there supermarket which was approx the size of 2 AMPMs. They do have the items out on the shelves for you to select from & put into a cart. The produce has to first be selected then put unto a scale where you punch in the #'s & a sticky tag comes out with the price on it to place on the produce. The only fresh meat there was lunch type meats & all of the rest was frozen. (Two years ago in Moscow, I came upon a fresh meat/fish market that the items were either in unrefrigerated display cases, on top of the counters & hanging from the rafters; with chopping blocks ready with axes & knifes to cut off the selection of meat that you wanted (Flys everywhere!) The same with the fresh produce.) Also in Russo, I came upon what must be their little shoppin mall, it looks like you are walking into a small apartment complex with the doors of the apartments barely opened. When I looked into them, I found a hair salon, barber shop, appliance store, hardware store, toy store, a place for small repairs of items and food place to eat. I also found a fishing supply store, electronics store, furniture store about 3 or 4 clothing stores, lots of little coffee shops & cafes to eat at as well as a couple of banks, a milk store, a car repair mechanics shop, the museum, and they had about 3-4 drug stores placed about 8-10 blocks away from each other.
Their churches are really ornate and has the dome oblisk on all of them. They are for the most part Russian Orthodox that belive in crossing with 2 fingers & you are wrong if you do it any other way.
The scenery and weather was alot like what I am use to in Seattle but more humitity.
They have hot water flowing into Moscow through humongous ducts that have to be cleaned out for two weeks in July, so they have to put up with cold water for the 2 weeks. The territories have their own hot water flowing into every dorm & room. The toilets & sinks are usually seperat from the showers. (No bathtubs) Their toilet paper is like sandpaper, so I usually bring my own. I like the idea of the hpt pipes being exposed along the walls because I use them to hang my wash on to dry.

There are flowers, drinks, cigaretts, magaizines, alcohol & snack kiosks on every corner in Moscow.