Mark Wilson June 4th, 2009
MOSCOW, RUSSIA–As I write this entry and the following few, I’m deep in the Russian woods in a small “field house” with no internet connections. I will post this entry and the others when I get the chance and back-date them so they show the day they were written, not posted.
This is a brief cultural note before the field accounts to come. Andrey and Veronica Dronov picked me up from my hotel and gave me a wonderful tour of the primary Moscow sites. We started with the Kremlin walls and then walked around Red Square. Stalin and Lenin appeared to be posing for photos, so I checked their last resting places and confirmed that they are indeed still dead.
Afterwards we had a minibus tour of the city, another walk through parks, and then a Tajik dinner (lamb kebabs for me). My first impression is how very deep the history of this city is, from buildings erected by Ivan the Terrible through the drama of “Soviet times” to today’s attempts to soften Moscow’s public image with massive reconstruction of churches and other pre-revolutionary buildings. This is also a city which is not easy for visitors to negotiate on their own. I admire my daughter Amy even more for spending her junior year here.