MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian capital's hotel prices are exorbitant enough to make an oligarch cry, but the city has some fine free sights that may dry up a tourist's tears.
Two decades after the Soviet Union died, a visit to the mummy-under-glass of its founder is more about creepy kitsch than political pilgrimage, but still a potent view into the totalitarian psyche. Open 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday. Entrance is free, but bags, cameras and phones must be checked for a fee. To make this a true freebie, go with a companion who can hold your gear and then switch off. The line moves briskly and the tag-team method won't eat up much extra time.
This former winery on a careworn industrial street has been turned into Moscow's modern art nexus. A dozen galleries, including that of internationally known art impresario Marat Guelman, an array of modish shops and a cafe draw the young and stylish on weekends — a way to get to this crowd without paying a cover charge at a club. Take a map; though it's near the Kursky railway terminal, the neighborhood is confusing and the street's name, Chetverty Syromyatnichesky Pereulok, is a tongue-twister if asking directions.
No one comes to Moscow to get close to nature, but if you need to get away from its dirt and din, a walk through the wetlands of the Yauza River, a tributary of the Moscow River, is a pastoral idyll just five miles from Red Square. Well-maintained paths and boardwalks lead through marshes and woods, past a 350-year-old country church, ending at a former nobleman's estate. The 21st century may seem a bit jarring when the two-mile walk is over. The trail starts a couple of blocks from the Babushkinskaya subway stop.
Although tourists jam the Izmailovsky souvenir market's ersatz czarist-era buildings, few venture to the real thing right next door. This island in a small manmade lake was a royal estate when Peter the Great was a boy and contains a soaring church with peculiar peacock-eye friezes and a fearsome three-story structure dating to his time (he died in 1725), along with a sprawling 19th century ensemble. Peter learned to sail here and credited it as the beginning of his drive to make Russia a great naval power. The island is visible from the market area, but the buildings are hidden by thick trees, so coming upon them feels like discovering a lost village.
ALL-RUSSIA EXHIBITION CENTER
Larger than the country of Monaco, this complex originally built to laud Soviet achievements features Stalinist Gothic architecture (don't miss the pavilion with a gargantuan bull charging off the roof), exuberant fountains, a Vostok rocket like the one that put the first man into orbit, and usually a few thousand Russians strolling, flirting and scarfing down shish kebabs and beer. Some of the massive pavilions that once housed Communist propaganda exhibits have been given over to capitalism, filled with warrens of tiny kiosks selling everything from medical devices to luminescent panties; others are falling into picturesque disrepair. It's a vivid summary of the Soviet Union's ambitions and disintegration, especially the onetime space exploration building, now selling gardening supplies, where a giant, ghostly portrait of Yuri Gagarin watches over sellers of petunia seedlings. Take the subway to VDNKh and follow the crowd.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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