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October 10, 2006 - Trip to Moscow

The Jeff Christian family came from America to make a survey trip. They plan to serve as missionaries in another city many hundreds of miles from our town of Oryol. They needed some help to get from the Moscow airport to the Moscow train station, so we went to meet them and guide them through the big city. We took our Russian friend, Vladimir, who comes to our services regularly and was saved last year.

Train station
All our travels begin and end here at the Oryol train station. Back in WW2, the Germans destroyed the old station, so they built this one for us.
Train station

Sleeper car
Inside our train car, the hallway leads to 9 compartments with 4 beds each.

Making the beds
Once we get in our compartment, we put clean sheets and pillowcases on each bed. Time to get some sleep!

Morning tea
The overnight ride to Moscow takes about 6 hours. There's nothing better than a hot cup of tea on the train to perk you up just before you arrive in the morning.
Morning tea

Airport express
We met the Christian family at the airport, and brought them to this modern express train. It takes us all the way into Moscow from a station near the airport.

Autumn scenery
The express train takes us through the wooded area surrounding Moscow.

Subway escalator
When we get off the express train, it's just a few steps to the subway station. These very long escalators take us deep underground.

The Metro
Russians simply call the Moscow subway system "the Metro". It is an amazing network with 172 stations that carries 8 million passengers every weekday. It will take you anywhere in Moscow that you need to go.

The Metro
During rush hour, the Metro trains come through the station 40 seconds apart. If you don't make it on this one, just wait a few moments for the next one.

Train station
Here in the ticket hall of the train station, the Christian family bought their tickets to go out to their city and back to Moscow. Ruth and Alan are passing the time by talking to our friend Vlad.

By this time we are all hungry, so we relax and enjoy a great meal at Sbarro's restaurant.

We have a few hours before their train leaves, so we walk around the city center. This is the State Historical Museum near the entrance to Red Square.

Red Square
This is our favorite place in Moscow! It's thrilling to be surrounded by the history and symbols of Russia. Behind us is Saint Basil's Cathedral. On the right of the picture is the Kremlin wall.
Red Square

Alan and Vlad
We really enjoyed having Vladimir with us on this trip. He is growing as a Christian, and it was a good time of fellowship.
Alan and Vlad

Jeff Christian and family
It's an answer to prayer to have more missionaries come to this vast country. We are sure glad to see them here.
Jeff Christian and family

April usually takes most of our pictures, but once in a while I snap a few.

St. Basil's Cathedral
One of the most beautiful buildings in the world, built about 450 years ago. Like many people, I used to think this was "the Kremlin". Actually it sits next to the Kremlin, which is a large brick fortress that contains many government buildings.

Place of the Skull
On Red Square, this is said to be the place where Ivan the Terrible executed people. Historians say it was just a place to read official proclamations. (It sure looks like a chopping block to me...)

Lenin's tomb
Lenin died in 1924. His mummified body is still on display in this mausoleum. He rests in a glass box and appears to be sleeping. The tomb is only open to the public for a few hours a week.

Kazan Cathedral
This Orthodox church on Red Square was destroyed by the Communists, and rebuilt in the early 1990s. They often have services, and you can hear the chanting of the choir as you walk by.

Orthodox priest
He is collecting money for the renovation of old churches.

Center of Moscow
Ruth stands on the plate marking the geographic center of the city. Many visitors to Moscow don't feel their visit is complete if they don't stand on the center marker.

For a small fee, these guys will take your picture with a hawk or a monkey. They will even let you use your own camera, but you still have to pay.

Marshal Zhukov
This impressive monument honors Georgy Zhukov, the commander of Soviet forces who liberated Russia from the Nazis in WW2.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Contains the remains of unknown soldiers who died defending Moscow in 1941. The inscription says "Your name is unknown, your heroic deed is immortal"

Honor Guard
He stands on duty in all kinds of weather. There are two guards, one on each side of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.