Stinson Family Blog

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


International Trip To Moscow and St. Petersburg

Arrival in Moscow

Our Mini-Bus



NKEA

Shortly after arriving at the hotel, we all headed out for a walk



Arbat ... the main tourist shopping street

Snapshots from Arbat





Our first lunch ... we couldn't read the sign and we ended up eating Italian ...



Live music

High fashion

Golden arches

A Russian car

The garden ring

A beautiful reconstructed church ... during the communist era, it was turned into a public heated swimming pool ...



The Kremlin walls

Public gardens

We had beautiful weather, so huge crowds were out around the Kremin

Our first view into Red Square and St. Basil's cathedral

Red Square

A rare photo of me (in Red Square)

The height of capitalism ... put a huge shopping mall right off of Red Square ... the GUM

More of the GUM

Leaving Red Square

Our first Russian dinner

Meals in Russia were suprisingly expensive ... this one set us back $40 - $60 per head.



When you order Vodka, it doesn't stop. They refill it like water or iced tea ... and they don't take no for an answer.

A Russian convenience store ... 4 aisles ... 1 was reserved for their favorite beverage

An incredible breakfast in the hotel

Our tour guide for the first day's walking tour



I just thought this looked interesting

A old building down the street from our hotel

More churches. Some of the churches had a larger summer church and a smaller winter church for easy heating

Their Associated Press

More churches

Ad for something



No ... they weren't holding hands ...

One of Moscow's beautiful subway stations

The inside of the subway station ... complete with chandeliers ...

More subway station

Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe



The manager gave us a quick summary about the business of the Hard Rock Moscow ...

The public library

More high fashion

Headed into the Kremlin



In cathedral square inside the walls of the Kremlin





Our tour group taking a rest

A huge bell that was never completed because it broke during a fire



The armory ... an impressive collection of Russian history

More from Cathedral square

And back to Red Square



The pictures don't do it justice

Trying to show the details

Some kind of wishing circle ... people would line up to throw coins over their left shoulder ..

The hotel bar



The lobby

A fantastic dinner in a basement tavern

Flaming drinks



More Red Square at night

More St. Basils ...

The next morning was the trip to Boeing's design center ... 1200 engineers working around the clock to design the new Boeing 787 ...



Jetlag was kicking in

Bus to the airport ... with a few more people than the bus was intended to hold

More jetlag?

The airport in Moscow

Aeroflot

A few silent prayers

The airplane was barely hanging on ... some of the luggage bins popped open on landing ...

Russian airlines are known for their hospitality ... "We don't smile because we're serious about making you happy" was once their slogan ...

This Russian guy wanted pictures

The view from my hotel room at the St. Petersburg hotel ...

An interesting business on our floor at the hotel ...

Rubles ...

Guy working on his bus in one of the most busy intersections in Moscow

You eat their version of hot chocolate with a spoon ...

Traffic ...







A view of the Hermitage museum from across the Niva River ...

Lunch at a fake restaurant ...

Back on the bus ...

Zzzzz ....

Our visit to a Russian business school ...



The presentation was all in PowerPoint ... in Russian ...

A meet and greet with the students



Viewing the evening business in the hotel lobby. Their inventory turnover ratios were impressive

More viewing

DAAAAA ... a really drunk Russian became really friendly ...

Russian parallel parking ...

Meeting at the chamber of commerce ...



Another Russian lunch ...

And don't forget the beet soup ... it was actually really tasty ...



The great escape ... Chris and I wandered around St. Petersburg for dinner and we bumped into Calvin ... I ate some incredible duck at a pub called "The Office" ...

Back in Moscow

Night on Red Square

Lenin's Tomb was closed for the holidays

The moon was perfect for picture taking ...





The entrance to Red Square

On the final day, a small group headed out to Sky City (Russia's NASA). This is the centerfuge where the cosmonauts train ...

The tour guide was a true Russian engineer ... the tour was enjoyable ... he quizzed us some on Russian space history

The MIR space station mock-up

Back to the hotel for a final evening

Leslie's bitter ... or is that the vodka talking?

The End ...
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