|Kremlin and Saint Basil|
We then visit the "Beriozka" shop, that sells all kinds of stuff that is much in demand in the USSR but taken for granted by us. These shops have a long history and exist in several Communist countries, we use Pewex in Poland, but here they have a special transgressive flair, maybe because most Soviet citizens are not allowed in. Prices are quite high, really the same as in the West and much more expensive than Poland for certain items: for example a beautiful book on the Kremlin that I bought in Warsaw for 430 zloty (15 dollars) here costs 40 dollars. In fact they sell quite a few beautiful art book, Soviet authored and Soviet produced, that are not available to normal Soviet consumers in regular bookstores.
|Unknown soldier's monument|
|Long line to see Lenin|
We all feel a bit depressed and keep walking along the Kremlin wall, chatting with Igor. He says that it is very difficult for a Soviet citizen to travel abroad. First, you must apply at the local police station, and they will apply on our behalf to the relevant foreign consulate. Then, after you have a visa, you can apply for a passport. Strange, hard to believe in fact, that any embassy would issue a visa to someone without seeing a passport. Anyway it is well knows that it is difficult, most of those who do leave go on organized tours. Private trips abroad almost unheard of and usually require an invitation by someone in the country to be visited.
|Church in the Kremlin|
In the evening, another amazing show in the Kremlin's Congress Palace's theater: a dance performance by the Bolshoi ballet, one of the most famous in the world. Much much better than anything I've ever seen before, or that I am likely to see again any time soon. So much better than the one we saw in Warsaw. Again, no photos.