Kremlin and Red Square ( Кремль и Красная площадь)

2015-2017

Usually I do not like touristy areas in a city, often finding them loud, tacky and overpriced. Red Square, however, despite being the most heavily touristed area in the city, is still definitely worth a visit. I still remember the first time I walked there, looked around and felt like I had just stepped into a fantasy movie set. St Basil's Cathedral with its vibrant colors and onion domes in front of me, the giant red archway behind, and Lenin's Tomb and the big Kremlin clock tower to my right all looming much more impressively than I could have imagined.

And, best of all, pretty much everything, including about 80% of the Kremlin is open to the public. As an American, this all felt a bit unreal. Thirty years ago, I wouldn't have been able to enter the country, but now, I was walking around in their equivalent to the White House (only 600 years older and about 10 mines bigger). Most of it is actually a museum, and what it holds is pretty amazing to see. All the thrones and outfits of the Tsars are on display, which of course I went to first, and was amazed just how big Peter the Great (Пётер I) must have been (estimates are close to 7 feet) and just how tiny Ivan the Terrible must have been (probably 5'4'' or 5'5'' judging by the uniforms).