Friday, February 28, 2014

Russia Day 12: Moscow. Sakharov Centre and Vernisage Market

The internet at the hotel has been flaky for the past day or so, and it's been frustrating. I can access news sites (download stuff), but I can't access my email or Facebook or anything where info needs to be sent back upstream. They told me at the front desk that they're aware of the problem and it should get fixed today.

After breakfast I headed to the Sakharov Centre.

Fragment of the Berlin Wall, made into art

I got a private tour from a woman who spoke pretty good English, detailing the various phases of repression that took place under the Soviet system. I had known some of this, but the details of how many million people were basically enslaved in order to build the Soviet nation was shocking. The end of the tour focussed on Sakharov's life as a dissident.

I took the metro to my next destination (the Vernisage Market), and found a restaurant for lunch. Then walked to the market and browsed matryoshka (there were tons, including some novelty ones involving Russian and American leaders, Star Wars characters, hockey players and entertainment figures, in addition to the traditional kind), as well as hats, Soviet souvenirs (nothing really interesting) and painted lacquer boxes (pretty, but expensive, and I have no idea how to tell which are worth what). I bought some matryoshki, and had a good time negotiating prices with some of the vendors.

Back to my hotel for the usual afternoon/evening siesta (my feet are killing me!), and caught up on the blog for the past several days, with the return of my internet connection!

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