wintery park near Trubnaya

wintery park near Trubnaya

lovely orthodox church at sunset

lovely orthodox church at sunset

free admission for the first week in January has helped to form a big line stretching out of the museum... good thing it's not cold!

free admission for the first week in January has helped to form a big line stretching out of the museum... good thing it's not cold!

checking out the Museum of Modern Art, which had an amazing exhibition on the 2nd floor...

checking out the Museum of Modern Art, which had an amazing exhibition on the 2nd floor...

photos were even allowed, a rarity...

photos were even allowed, a rarity...

checkerboard floors help highlight the artwork

checkerboard floors help highlight the artwork

self-portrait of the artist...

self-portrait of the artist...

bit orthodox church and monastery near Tverskaya....

bit orthodox church and monastery near Tverskaya....

we go inside, and there is a full-blown sermon going on!  Awesome!!!!

we go inside, and there is a full-blown sermon going on! Awesome!!!!

lots of old people, monotone chanting, candle lighting, and bell ringing during the very interesting and pleasant sermon...

lots of old people, monotone chanting, candle lighting, and bell ringing during the very interesting and pleasant sermon...

a boy adds to the growing candle tray

a boy adds to the growing candle tray

at the church sermon!

at the church sermon!

A monk comes up to tend to the candles during the very interesting sermon, which we watched a good 15 minutes of!

A monk comes up to tend to the candles during the very interesting sermon, which we watched a good 15 minutes of!

happy dancing and singing waitress lady at this lovely little Ukrainian restaurant.  Great borscht here, honestly the best i've had!!

happy dancing and singing waitress lady at this lovely little Ukrainian restaurant. Great borscht here, honestly the best i've had!!

the parks are all decorated in Christmas lights!

the parks are all decorated in Christmas lights!

blue and white winter lights wrapped around all the trees....

blue and white winter lights wrapped around all the trees....

back at the All-Russian Exhibition Center on a very cloudy day...

back at the All-Russian Exhibition Center on a very cloudy day...

a little Christmas village setup throughout the enormous exhibition center, which has many museums and displays....

a little Christmas village setup throughout the enormous exhibition center, which has many museums and displays....

and this, is definitely the coolest fountain i've seen in Moscow.  Must come back in the summer when there's water!

and this, is definitely the coolest fountain i've seen in Moscow. Must come back in the summer when there's water!

each of the golden ladies represents one of the former Soviet Union republics (there were 15 in all), and each is wearing a traditional dress from that republic.

each of the golden ladies represents one of the former Soviet Union republics (there were 15 in all), and each is wearing a traditional dress from that republic.

The gigantic Communist-built exhibition center has no shortage of Communst emblems...

The gigantic Communist-built exhibition center has no shortage of Communst emblems...

... and airplanes, and rocket ships, and even upside-down houses!

... and airplanes, and rocket ships, and even upside-down houses!

I was going to go up this tower today, but as you can see it disappears completely into the thick clouds, can't even see the top!

I was going to go up this tower today, but as you can see it disappears completely into the thick clouds, can't even see the top!

Walking through the lovely park stretching from Chisty Prudy, one of my favourite areas of Moscow....

Walking through the lovely park stretching from Chisty Prudy, one of my favourite areas of Moscow....

more delightful lit-up trees!

more delightful lit-up trees!

lighting up the lovely park

lighting up the lovely park

winter scenes from the park near Chisty Prudy

winter scenes from the park near Chisty Prudy

Christmas tree decorations as well!

Christmas tree decorations as well!

happy children sliding around and ice skating on the frozen lake...

happy children sliding around and ice skating on the frozen lake...

walking along the lake..... goooooood times!!!!

walking along the lake..... goooooood times!!!!

this is a really lovely cafe, which stretches out onto the lake/pond....

this is a really lovely cafe, which stretches out onto the lake/pond....

I've never, ever seen Red Square so crowded!!!!!!!  Ugh.  And the geniuses thought it was a great time to randomly close off most of the Metro entrances and underpasses around this time, making the traffic even worse.  That would never have happened under Lenin.

I've never, ever seen Red Square so crowded!!!!!!! Ugh. And the geniuses thought it was a great time to randomly close off most of the Metro entrances and underpasses around this time, making the traffic even worse. That would never have happened under Lenin.

security into Red Square is extremely high, with insane amounts of cops and metal detectors all around the perimeter, due in part to the recent terrorist acts in Volgograd.

security into Red Square is extremely high, with insane amounts of cops and metal detectors all around the perimeter, due in part to the recent terrorist acts in Volgograd.

St. Basil's barely visible through the heavy crowds and falling snow

St. Basil's barely visible through the heavy crowds and falling snow

Christmas time on Red Square!

Christmas time on Red Square!

the Kremlin rises behind this incredibly lovely winter market...

the Kremlin rises behind this incredibly lovely winter market...

makeshift 'restaurants' at the winter market on Red Square

makeshift 'restaurants' at the winter market on Red Square

the Kremlin towers over all.....

the Kremlin towers over all.....

Really amazing scenes, made even better by the falling snow...

Really amazing scenes, made even better by the falling snow...

Christmas time in Moscow

Christmas time in Moscow

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

the famous Bolshoi Theatre glows among the white and blue lights....

the famous Bolshoi Theatre glows among the white and blue lights....

Hangin' with some CS'ers at Kamchatka!

Hangin' with some CS'ers at Kamchatka!

some kids playing outside in the fresh snow... though their self-made 'snow chair' doesn't look so fresh!

some kids playing outside in the fresh snow... though their self-made 'snow chair' doesn't look so fresh!

this kid relaxes on his snow throne.  this is the life!

this kid relaxes on his snow throne. this is the life!

having fun in the snow

having fun in the snow

headed over to an awesome little cafe, hidden in a nondescript-looking house...

headed over to an awesome little cafe, hidden in a nondescript-looking house...

This place charges only 1 rouble per minute, for this you get all you can drink gourmet coffee, tea, and cookies!  So basically a normal cafe charges about 120-160 roubles for one single coffee, here for 60 roubles in an hour you can have as much as you want!

This place charges only 1 rouble per minute, for this you get all you can drink gourmet coffee, tea, and cookies! So basically a normal cafe charges about 120-160 roubles for one single coffee, here for 60 roubles in an hour you can have as much as you want!

and the cookies are so good!

and the cookies are so good!

and tons of games to play, which I won of course...

and tons of games to play, which I won of course...

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