Day 37: Sightseeing in Moscow

Today is a rest day. A very well-earned rest day after four days of continuous travel. Moreover, we are in a very famous city. The temptation of seeing the Red Square, Cathedral and Museums was very big. So, we decided to go for sight seeing and to go for a Russian Ballet dance Performance in the evening.

We took Metro to go to Red Square. The experience of Metro was good. It was as good as MRT in Singapore.

The MRTs were built in Moscow much earlier, so the stations do not have escalators. We had to climb lot of steps. It turned out in the end that we climbed 14 floors in the day. This included climbing in MRT stations, near Red Square and at the theatre where we had gone in the evening. The main station Okhotnyy ryad is having escalators.  

We took Metro from Sokol’niki station which is opposite to our hotel and got down at Okhotnyy ryad MRT station. It was walking distance from there for Red Square. We reached Red Square, a place we had heard so much over the years and read in history books.  Red Square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and now the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. Red Square is considered to be the Central square of Moscow, since the city’s major street which connect to major highways originate from here.

The name Red Square neither originates from the pigments of the surrounding Red brick buildings, nor from the colour red and communism. The name actually came about  because the Russian word красная (krasnaya), which means "red", is related to the word красивая ('krasivaya') meaning "beautiful," was applied to a small area between St. Basil's Cathedral, the Spassky Tower of the Kremlin, and the herald's platform called Lobnoe Mesto.

Contrary to the misconception this was never the place of execution. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich officially extended the name to the entire square, which had previously been called Pozhar, or "burnt-out place", in reference to the fact that several buildings had to be burned down to make place for the square. St. Basil’s Cathedral and Kemlin Cathedrals are also in the square area.

In the evening we went to see “The Nutcracker”, a Ballet dance performance. Russia is the heartland of ballet. Beautiful sets, beautiful costumes and outstanding performance. It was two hours full of entertainment. The sets were enchanting and the dances were lively. It was an experience of life - time.

It turned out to be a busy day. We have one more day tomorrow in Moscow to take rest.    

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