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Friday, June 24, 2011

Today our group went on an excursion to a television tower (Останкинская телебашня), which stands at 540 meters tall! I was not interested so much about the tower's past, than I was in the incredible view from the top of it. Security was tight. You have to give them your passport, so they can register you. They give you an entrance card, and we were told that if we lost this card during the excursion, we would not be able to leave the tower! I wonder for how long. The elevator ride to the top was pretty surreal, since there is a camera above the door showing a live feed of the elevator shaft above us. Additionally, there was techno music playing, but we were not allowed to dance haha. One guy tried to briefly do the Jersey Shore fist bump, but was immediately scolded out by the elevator attendant. The panoramic view from the top is awesome, as you can see all of Moscow from a bird's eye view. It is interesting to see industrial centers and large forested areas in one concentrated area. Unfortunately, the weather was overcast, so it was difficult to see distant places, like the Kremlin. The coolest part of the top must be the glass floor, which makes you feel like your looking down towards your death. It was the first time I've been on a window floor like that. After the excursion, a few of us checked out the surrounding area, which including the space museum. We did not go into the museum (saved for another day), but the outside square is full of interesting monuments. Then, we went to a big park where there is a massive arch and the large building named Дом Народов России (House of the Peoples of Russia). There is such a soviet feel to it, especially with the statue of Lenin in front. I'm not sure what this building was used for, but now it is full of various shops. I discovered this upon entering, when a sketchy looking man tried to sell me even sketchier looking cameras. We ate lunch at this surprisingly good pizza restaurant in the park, where the waitress was actually very nice. I think she was amused that we were Americans, and she corrected my grammar haha. I have been so tired lately without a sufficient amount of sleep, so I crashed this afternoon first on the metro and then back at home. Just now I realized there is a nice supermarket right around the corner, where I can buy a bigger bottle of water for 12 less rubles than my usual kiosk by the university. Who knew? Here are some pics from the day.































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