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Friday. A long lie in was followed by a leisurely brunch and a mission to try to post Stef’s broken kindle we visited 2 post offices and dhl twice. Eventually with the help of the hostel and a brilliant dhl man we finally get it safely on its way and went for a glass of wine to celebrate! We also wasted some time happily window shopping in some of the excellent department stores and shopped for a picnic in GUM’s supermarket.

Saturday. State History Museum. This is located in the building that looks like Christmas – proper name, – and shows Russia’s history from the very beginning when tools were roughly made by hitting rocks together and fire was not yet even invented. It showed exhibits following the development of mankind through the stone, bronze and steel ages, then as Russia developed told the history of the kings, tsars and wars all the way to the 19th century when there appeared to be strong links with England – every case of artifacts seemed to contain items bearing the legend “Made in England” and the fashions were extremely similar. This is a must see for any visitor to Moscow as it gives a great deal of info about the whole of Europe and the early human history is fascinating – joining a tour would get the most out of the exhibits.

Sunday. Today we visited the cosmonaut museum. Initially skeptical at first I thoroughly enjoyed the couple of hours we spent there. As you go in there is a corridor with the great astronomers and physicists immortalised in the form of giant plaster heads mounted on the walls- the ancient Egyptians, Gallileo, Einstein – to name a few. The inventors of science all look down at you and its like being in the presence of the gods, which to someone with a scientific background, is exactly what they are. The exhibition itself is over 4 floors and documents Russian space exploration from the first experiments with animals to the the USSR’s star Yuri Gagarin to MIR to the successful project that is the ISS. There were actual pods that brought astronauts home to earth alongside exhibits of clothing and a lifesize replica of MIR. There was also a gallery of photographs of earth taken from space or on descent which were simply stunning. If I find myself in Moscow again I would certainly make a second visit, this time with a guide to get the most of the place. Stef has a lovely post here… http://somuchtoseesomuchtodo.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/moscow-in-space/ which has some great photos. Please take a look

Monday. Collected Kazakhstan visas and packed up and left Moscow, destination Saratov then Volgograd. Had a lovely riverside campsite and slept the best of all week.

So there you are: one week in Moscow, a city I didn’t expect to love, but do.

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