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Wedding Day in Moscow

semi-overcast 12 °C

Time was when the sinister rumble of Soviet tanks and missile carriers parading across the cobblestones of Moscow's Red Square reverberated around the Globe. But it's a quarter of a century since the Iron Curtain was opened and the words 'Glasnost' and 'Perestroika' were added to our lexicon. Young Muscovites know only democracy and rampant consumerism and, while many oldies are still nostalgic for the days of guaranteed equality, few can resist the temptations of capitalism. Today, French champagne flows freely among the many wedding groups that have replaced the threatening columns of Soviet troops that once goose-stepped across this pavement...
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The iconic buildings in Red Square, previously symbols of Soviet might, now serve as proverbial backdrops for wedding albums. This pretty bride chose the Kremlin State Palace...
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While this young couple preferred the Kazan cathedral...
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Perhaps the most preposterously ornamented iconic building is the onion-domed St. Basil's cathedral, built by Ivan the Terrible in 1552. Legend suggests that the aptly named Ivan ordered the builders to be blinded on completion of the work so that they could never build a more elaborate one. Less charitable observers suggest that they should have been blinded to stop them doing it again. However, for enthusiastic wedding photographers, nothing could be more memorable...
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And here's another happy couple being photographed in front of the Kremlin wall where Stalin and Khrushchev once stood to threaten world peace...
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With the pictures in the can everyone heads to the eternal flame at the cenotaph to leave the bride's bouquet in memory of the millions who died defeating the Czarist fat-cats in 1917, or were murdered for opposing communism during Stalin's reign of terror...
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And this is Stalin's infamous Lubyanka Prison, notorious headquarters of the dreaded KGB, from where, Russians joked, prisoners in the basement torture rooms could see Siberia...
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Once final respects have been shown to those who fought and died in defence of communism, bride and groom dash off to GUM to spend their wedding haul...
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During the Soviet era GUM was a dowdy department store strictly for foreigners and Politburo insiders. As Orwell wrote in Animal Farm: "All pigs are equal - but some pigs are more equal than others." But the days of Party-owned Zil limousines and Dachas are over. Moscow is one of the most capitalistic and expensive cities in the World - only the Metro is cheap at a dollar a ride - so every big name has set up shop here. West Edmonton may boast the biggest mall in the World, but GUM is a whole lot classier...
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To cap off our wedding day in Moscow we're off to the Bolshoi - see you soon.

Posted by Hawkson 21:28 Archived in Russia

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Comments

Happy couples everywhere.....wonder what the wedding dinner was like? What have you two been eating? What have you liked best so far. Again, Birthday greetings to Sheila - raise a glass on us!

by Joyce Babula

Happy Birthday Sheila.
As Joyce I would be interested in the food.
Love
Christine x

by Christine Lloyd

Beautiful pictures on your happy day of memories for the Khanna family

by David Henderson

Happy Birthday Sheila from the Island of Vis, in Croatia. I wish you many years of continual safe and great adventures with Inspector Bliss. And always, wonderful people and delicious food. Loads of love,
Trudy

by taboyle

Happy Birthday to you, Sheila. And thank you James for the wonderful blog. Sharron and I are enjoying your experiences in Russia.

by Harvey and Sharron

Dear Sheila another Happy Birthday wish to come your way. Wonderful ways to mark your Birthday as each year you are in another country celebrating with your James. Have a healthy and safe new year.
Sue

by Sue Fitzwilson

Birthday greetings Sheila!
Thoroughly enjoying your latest adventure..Some things have certainly changed since my visits to
"Leningrad" and Moscow in 1966 '72 and'78. Hope you didn't have to make up your own bunks in a sleeping compartment on your journey to Moscow then find the door jammed when you woke up.
Love to you both,Eileen

by Eileen Dixon

Happy birthday Sheila and thanks for your note. These buildings are more beautiful than London Tower, but I doubt that those imprisoned there were grateful for them.

by Janet

Absolutely fabulous pictures. Must put it on my list. Eager to hear the details of the birthday dinner.

by Tom

Happy Birthday Sheila. I think you and Jim and the best looking and happiest looking couple of them all! The architecture is amazing, though, not my style! XXXX Max

by Maxine Stewart

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