Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Ryan & Tani's Visit to Moscow

We enjoyed sharing some of our favorite places in Moscow with our son Ryan and his wife, Tani, who came for a visit September 23-30. After meeting their plane on Tuesday morning, we took them to the Service Center to see where we work and then went to Red Square. That evening we took them to Family Home Evening at the Shepards. They endured the day quite well in spite of jet lag, and we were pleased to introduce them to our dear friends here in Moscow.

Elder & Sister Ireland at work in the Service Center.

During the week Ryan & Tani were here, Sam and I kept current on priority things by going to the office in the mornings, and then we went sightseeing in the afternoon.

Outside the entrance to the Service Center

On Wednesday, we went to the All-Russian Exhibition Center. The beautiful floral displays were past their prime, but it was still a nice walk to see the decorative architecture and fountains. The golden fountain, "Friendship of Nations," was not working again; but it's still quite impressive.

The Exhibition Center is described as having 500 acres with plenty of walkways, fountains, statues, formal gardens, and numerous pavilions. The recommendation is to spend at least half a day exploring it.

All-Russian Exhibition Center - Central Pavilion
(Ryan, Tani, and Narene)

At the front of the park before entering
the Exhibition Center
is this 100-meter
flying rocket.

For more photos of the All-Russian Exhibition Center, see my blog posted on 26 August 08 included with the Botanical Garden and our search for the roses.

Walking through a park back to the metro
after leaving the Exhibition Center.

Getting Ryan & Tani used to lots of walking.

It was a pleasant day for our boat tour Wednesday afternoon on the Moscow River. Many of the photos taken this day are similar to ones we took when we went with Curtis & Marla and Todd & Beth in July (posted 5 September 08).

We were on a boat like this on the top deck.

The Kremlin as seen from our boat tour.

Cathedral of Christ the Redeemer
(photo taken from the boat)

A close-up of Peter the Great,
a huge statue in the Moscow River.

On Thursday, we went to Kolomenskoe Estate where we ate blinis and then visited a large renok. Later, we walked on Arbat Street, stopped inside some of the souvenir shops, and ate at My My's (pronounced Moo Moo's).

Church of the Ascension - Kolomenskoe
(Ryan & Sam)

Bell ringer in the Bell Tower

When we have been to Kolomenskoe before, we have heard them play the "bells" that are different sizes to make different note sounds; but this was the first time we heard them ringing the bells in the bell tower. It was interesting to watch him pull the multiple bells, but it was loud when we were that close.

Church of Our Lady of Kazan - Kolomenskoe

Sam feeding the pigeons at Kolomenskoe.

Anchors near Peter the Great's cabin

We finally found Peter the Great's cabin at Kolomenskoe, but it was under restoration so we couldn't see much.

She is making blinis for our lunch.

Part of the large renok we walked through.

Ryan & Tani by the Pushkin monument
on Arbat Street.

We ate at My My's on Arbat Street.

Friday was the day we visited Victory Park and went to the ballet that evening.

150-meter statue topped by Nike,
the Goddess of Victory,
at Victory Park

The Hall of Tears - Victory Park

One of diaramas at Victory Park depicting
"The Great Patriotic War,"
as WWII is referred to in Russia.

Bolshoi New Stage - Ryan & Tani

Our attempts to get tickets to "Swan Lake" for Friday night had not been successful, and tickets were ranging in price from 2,000 to 6,000 rubles at the main ticket office. We took our chances and got good upper balcony seats by paying 1,000 rubles a ticket to one of the guys out front selling tickets. However, we were surprised when we read the program and discovered it was not "Swan Lake," but the 12th year featuring three separate one-act ballets. The first ballet was traditional, the second was a combination of traditional and modern, and the third ballet was definitely modern. This last one made me think of Mitchell's show choir competitions with all the energy and dancing, only this was with only an orchestra and no singing.

The modern #3 one-act ballet.
Costumes were red, white, and black and no tutus.

It was a rainy day on Saturday, so Sam stayed home with a cold and cough; and we joined the Masons for a walk though part of the huge Asian Market and then shopping for souvenirs at Izmaly Park. The Masons took the purchases home with them while Ryan, Tani, and I went to the Armory museum inside the Kremlin. It was very interesting; and we especially enjoyed seeing the collection of royal carriages, the court dresses with their big skirts including the coronation dress worn by Catherine the Great, and the Faberge eggs.

Izmaly Park souvenirs for sale

One of the 10 Faberge eggs
in the Kremlin.
(photo from Wikipedia)

Ending the day at Red Square.
(Ryan & Tani in front of St. Basil's.)

After church on Sunday, we took a sack lunch and walked around the grounds at Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery.

Novodevichy Convent - Narene & Sam

Smolensk Cathedral at Novodevichy Convent
(Tani, Ryan, and Narene)

Novodevichy Cemetery - Khrushchev's grave

We took the electrishka train on Monday to Sergiev Possad and spent the day, which is one of Russia's most important religious centers and places of pilgrimage. I will write about this day in a separate blog and include pictures of this interesting place.

The time went by fast, and Tuesday morning we went by metro and bus to the airport where we had to say goodbye to Ryan & Tani. Now five of our children and their spouses have been able to come to Moscow to visit us, and we hope Scott & Kristine and Brent & Tauna will be able to arrange their schedules so they can come, too. Those who have come have a better understanding and appreciation for the culture we are experiencing.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Hi from CA!! I was browsing through some images of Faberge Eggs and clicked on the picture of the one you have on your blog, and pop...up came your blog, and I was so thrilled to read you are LDS missionaries serving in Russia. How wonderful!! Small world!! Your pictures of the members, the missionaries, and the places you have visited are so interesting. A very nice thing to do on a Sat evening. Thank you so much! May the Lord continue to bless you and your children for your service as you are blessing the people in the places where you serve. Best wishes to you-Dee-Lancaster East Stake, Lancaster, CA