Our first glimpses of Moscow were from the cruise ship as we approached the city. It looked pretty much like every other big city, i.e. building cranes, tall buildings, etc. We were met by our guide, Marina, and we were off to the hotel. Then it was off on a quick exploratory tour of the city.
The primary focus is the Kremlin. I try to remember what my mind conjured up when I heard the word Kremlin. I think it was something like Red Square with a military parade and the communist leaders watching from a balcony. Kremlin was almost a synonym for Russian government. I hadn't pictured the Kremlin as a fortress that is more than 1000 years old. On our introductory tour, we only saw the Kremlin from the outside. The walls of the Kremlin enclose about 68 acres and include 20 towers. Entrance to the Kremlin is through one of the 4 main towers.
Seen from across the river -
(l to r) Kremlin Palace, Cathedral of the Annunciation, one of the towers, Cathedral of the Assumption, Great Bell Tower, and another tower.
On the left is one of the main towers and the entrance that we used. Below is one of the government buildings (don't remember which one).
Cathedral of the Annunciation
Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles
Overlooking the river from the Kremlin.
After our morning visit to the Kremlin, it was off to Fedoskino to see how the famous lacquer boxes are made. There are 3 or 4 areas where they still make lacquer boxes. Fedoskino is just one.
The boxes are not wood. They are made of paper which has been soaked, cured, pressed into paperboard and then shaped and glued into a box form. Each raw box is built and finished by hand.
The boxes are then painted by hand. The less experienced painters have a picture to copy. The master paints without any picture as a guide. Sometimes a layer of mother-of-pearl is used to give the painting more depth.