Mt. Elbrus: Mallory & Team Sightseeing in Moscow

Posted by: Linden Mallory | July 08, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

We spent the day visiting the heart of Moscow today, walking through places familiar from a lifetime of hearing their names but only witnessing for the first time - Red Square, Kremlin, Bolshoy…

We left the hotel this morning and crossed the two bridges spanning the Moscow River and walked along the walls of the Kremlin until we reached Red Square. After wandering through the area for a bit we met our Tour Guide, Nina, for a tour of the city. In fluent English tinted by a distinct Russian accent, she spent the next three hours recounting stories, history, and significances of the many places we bounced between. First walking around St. Basil’s Cathedral, the ornately decorated church on the south side of Red Square, we then passed through the GUM Department Store, the beautiful former Soviet State Store now turned luxury shopping mall. Between the stores full of familiar Western brands - Levi’s, Prada, Jaques Cartier - she also recounted her personal experiences transitioning from Communist Russia to life in Moscow today, explaining the differences in food choices to retirement.

Across from the Bolshoy theater we descended into Moscow’s subway system, hopping trains between several of the impressively ornate underground stations, many covered with mosaics, frescos, and hanging crystal chandeliers, before emerging into the sunlight back at the entrance to the Kremlin. We then walked beneath the thick red brick walls into the center of the Kremlin, passing throughout the churches and monuments in the heart of the Russian Government.

By late afternoon we returned to the hotel and spent a few hours of down time before dinner, trying to shake the last of the jet lag. Tomorrow we leave Moscow and fly to the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains to reach the foot of Mt. Elbrus. The team enjoyed Moscow and we are excited to head into the mountains and begin the climbing.

We will check in tomorrow from our hotel in the Baksan Valley.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

The team on the streets of Moscow. St. Basil's Cathedral near Moscow's Red Square as seen on our Moscow City Tour

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