Visit to the Kremlin, free time to explore Moscow and an evening visit to a Russian National Dancing Show
26.08.2014 - 26.08.2014 18 °C
We had a later rise this morning as we are leaving half an hour later today. Had breakfast and then on the bus for our tour of the Kremlin. At yesterday's briefing, Diana gave us strict instructions about today's tour and what to do and what not to do. Stay together in your group and don't wander away from your group and no photos allowed inside the buildings. Outside okay but not inside.
On the drive into the Kremlin, Svetlana was telling us about life in Moscow. There were eight lanes of traffic heading into the city.
School teachers in Moscow get paid about $2,500 US a month. Other workers receive about $1,500 US a month. There are a lot of illegal immigrants in Moscow but the numbers are unknown. Every second family has a car and a lot of them own "dachas", a summer house out of the city. Lunch is the main meal of the day as opposed to dinner in the evening in Australia as our main meal. About Moscow weather, they say that Moscow has two seasons - July and Winter!
Both parents work and children attend Day Care Centres. These centres are open from 7am to 7pm and the children attend them until they are 6 years old and then they start Primary School at age 7. By the time they start primary school, they can add up and read so they are very well prepared.
50% of the population is divorced. The older people lost all their money in the 70s and 80s when Gorbachev was President and now they depend on their children for survival. They only receive $300 US a month old age pension, which is definitely not enough to live on, especially in an expensive city like Moscow.
Maternity leave is given for three years. There is .5% unemployment in Moscow and 7 to 8% in the country. There are 143 million people in Russia and 9 time zones. The Government is encouraging women to have a second child by offering them $10.000 US after the birth. The voucher can't be cashed but can be used to upgrade accommodation or provide for a good education for the children.
We arrived at the Kremlin in plenty of time to buy our tickets and walked briskly through the grounds to the Armoury. The wind is vicious! The Armoury stores 10% of the best of the Russian treasures and what a shame photos weren't allowed. It is an absolutely amazing place with costumes, carriages, jewels, faberge eggs, silver and gold. Not to be missed if you are coming to Moscow.
Out in the grounds, I took some amazing photos.
Photos of the Kremlin Wall and the entrance to the Kremlin
Back on the ship for a buffet lunch and then we explored the ship. We found an enclosed sun room at the end of our corridor and some steps leading to the open air sun lounge on the roof. We chatted at length with some Canadian ladies who were sunning themselves on the roof. In the enclosed sun lounge, there is an exercise bike and a walking machine, tables and chairs and a coffee making machine.
There was a Scenic Tea at 4.40 pm, which was a light snack to tide us over until we returned from the Dancing Show where upon we would have a light supper before going to bed.
So, back on the bus at 6.00 pm for the ride into town for "Kostroma" the Russian National Dancing Show. The traffic in Moscow is horrendous and it took us one and a half hours to get in there and we just made it, with about 5 minutes to spare before the concert began. It was a lovely theatre and we had really good seats. I thought Phil would probably go to sleep during a dancing concert, but from the word go, it had him and held his interest for the whole show. It was the story of Russia through the ages and then after interval, folk dances from all the different regions. Sounds a bit boring after a long day of being a tourist, but it was really good. Fabulous costumes and fantastic dancing - cossack men jumping all over the place and beautiful girls dancing intricately and skillfullly. They are touring Australia in October and I would certainly recommend the show to anyone. Unfortunately cameras weren't allowed, so no photos to show.
Back on the bus for the ride home. This time it only took 45 minutes to go 20 kilometres. Most of us went into the dining room for a late supper. I had red bean soup (kidney beans I think) and it was delicious and just enough to tide me over until morning.
Into bed by 12.30 am and a sleep in tomorrow as we are not leaving for our excursion until 9.45 am.