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Monday, October 17, 2011

Our World was Moscow for a while

Moscow is a beautiful cosmopolitan city, with a rich cultural heritage and a fine international reputation for everything from ballet to ice hockey. Because the newspaper photos we saw during the Soviet era were mostly black and white, and mostly taken during inclement weather, I pictured the people to be dour and unhappy, and the buildings grey and forbidding. The Kremlin, above all, was to be feared as a vast, prison-like structure from which no peasant ever emerged alive, I thought.

Perhaps, to many, that is indeed the way it was. However, our guide with Viking River Cruises, a wonderful Russian lady named Galina, said she had been working as a tour guide since 1952 and never thought she had a bad life in the former Soviet Union.

So, there are two sides to every story, and far be it from me to attempt to go into the where and why of Perestroika or any part of Russian history. I can, however, say I saw the outside of the Kremlin this summer, and it isn't scary at all. I've seen far less prepossessing buildings in Canada, the US, and Britain.

Kremlin in black and white might look a little like a penitentiary.
Kremlin in color is a deep yellow, surrounded by a clean red brick wall.
Driving through Moscow in black and white might seem a dismal sight.
Driving through Moscow in color, you can see a Coca Cola sign in the distance.


It's so much like Paris—everywhere you look, couples are kissing!
© Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear

Posted for
Our World Tuesday
the second-generation meme begun after the untimely death of that great wildlife photographer, Klaus Peter, founder of My World Tuesday.
To see other worlds from other parts of the planet, please click


26 comments:

Tina´s PicStory said...

nice street view from the city :)

Dianne said...

An interesting insight into this beautiful city Kay - love the kissing on the bridge photo!!

Gary said...

I'm amazed!! Are you still there? Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Sylvia K said...

Lovely skies and it does seem as though love was in the air! Another great tour of Russia, Kay! Hope your week is off to a good start! Enjoy!

Sylvia

jabblog said...

Good to see Moscow through a different lens - I hope the rest of Russia is as colourful.

Riet said...

What an interesting story. Everyting has two sides. Beautiful photo;s.

aka Penelope said...

I love how you brought colorful commentary into this post, Kay. I can certainly get a sense of a place that has more than its share of rich history, wonderful architecture and attractive people. Glad you shared this interesting part of your recent journey. :)

Rajesh said...

Great shots from the city. I have been always wanted to be there.

Lesley said...

Every place has its two faces. I have met people who have travelled somewhere and swore they would never go back because it was raining and a holiday so nothing was open. Me, that would only entice me to return to get a better view!

Nanka said...

Wonderful glimpses of Moscow and it seems to be rapidly modernizing exploding with Western-style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles. Your pictures have captured it well!! A new vibrant Moscow and happier Moskvitch or Muscovites!!

Ebie said...

Romance along the river Viking! Nice one Kay.

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

Very cosmopolitan, a place I would love to visit. The history, the buildings just amazing.

Stafford Ray said...

The vilification started sixty years ago in both directions and thankfully we are past that with Russia, but now I worry about it starting again with China! Lovely shots... thirty years ago someone would have snided that 'those couples kissing are paid to do that for Western tourists!' :-)

Fran said...

Thank you for the tour. As I have said before, Moscow is very close to our hearts even if we haven't been there, so it is lovely to see it through your eyes xxx

SquirrelQueen said...

Moscow looks like a beautiful, vibrant city. I would love to visit it someday.

It does make one wonder how much of the news we saw back then was filmed with the intent of painting a bleak picture of the city rather than portraying facts.

Indrani said...

Moscow is colorful, lively and lovely.

Linnea said...

Interesting! Thank you:))

Esther Garvi said...

Thank you for bringing us to a place I've never been to!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

I have to admit I think of Russia as being rather cold and dark -- we all have our stereotypes of what we think a place looks or feels like. Looks like you had an interesting trip and the street photography is great! :)

Gattina said...

I had the opportunity to meet some young women from Moscow, one was a journalist the other one of the managers of Carrefour. They both spoke perfectly French but no english as this was not allowed in schools. But they also said that not everything was bad and some people even regret. You know I think from both sides the politicians made very bad images of us and of them.
I have always heard that Moscow is a very beautiful town.

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Gattina — I think you are absolutely right, my friend. The lies they told were "propaganda" with neither side wanting the truth about the other to be told. We liked Russia a lot.
— Kay and Dick

Friko said...

It's good to be told about the other side too.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How interesting to hear another side of the story -- I wondered if you had talked to anyone from or about that era --

It surely does look different from what we had been taught to expect back in the day! Thanks for sharing --lovely pictures and a post that made me think!

eileeninmd said...

Lovely tour of Moscow, I enjoyed the post and the photos. I guess we are too use to seeing and hearing stories on the news, they ca paint a very different story.

magiceye said...

a lovely city indeed!

Seasons said...

Couples who are now international celebrities via this blog - Courtesy: International celebrity traveling photographers, Richard and Kay!