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Life Missions

(1 out of 5 complete)

To be photographed with wildflowers.

To visit a forest.

To see fireflies.

To visit at least 5 different families with children.

To see the redwoods.

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Travelog for: Candyfloss

Moscow, Russia - 3rd March 2013

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi, mom! My host promised that she’ll show me something surprising this weekend! She told me that Moscow is well-known as an “old” city with ancient buildings such as the Kremlin or The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.  Meanwhile, there is one of the most modern and futuristic buildings in the World - Moscow International Business Center – it’s is a commercial district of central Moscow and combine business activity, living space and entertainment in one single development.
An estimated 250,000 – 300,000 people will be working, living, or visiting the complex at any given time, when it is finished. There are some towers that are built right now, for example this one, known as Evolution Tower. Each floor of it will be twisted 3° in relation to the preceding one, totaling 135°.
Now it contains 7 towers with such names as Mercury Tower or Federation Tower and many smaller buildings with Expocenter and Terminal.
Naberezhnaya Tower is an office complex consisting of 3 individual office buildings underconnected to each other via a common basement totalling approximately 150,000 square metres of rentable area of office and retail space. Block C was completed in 2007. At 268.4 meters, this 59-story tower remained the tallest skyscraper in Europe until the City of Capitals was completed in 2009.
My host works in The City of Capitals. It is a multifunctional complex, including twin tower skyscrapers, located on plot 9 in the International Business Center Moscow City in Moscow. The City of Capitals, symbolising Moscow and St. Petersburg, was completed in 2009. The "Moscow Tower" is taller than Naberezhnaya Tower and was the tallest in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and in Europe with a height of 301.60 metres, until the construction of the The Shard in London, England, exceeded this height on 17 January 2012.
More than half of the top floors are taken up by an entertainment complex, office suites, and large apartments. The Сity of Capitals consists of two towers - the 76-level "Moscow Tower" and the 65-level "St. Petersburg Tower". Floors 17 and 18 of both towers are offices. The entire complex sits on a main lobby consisting of 6 underground floors and 4 aboveground floors of public space. The upper floors of the base structure contain shops, a fitness center, presentation halls, and restaurants.
The height of towers is simply unimaginable, it exceeds 300 meters  for some of them. You can see the Bagration pedestrian bridge that connect two part of this quarter. What a fantastic view!


* Posted Mar 3, 2013, 7:31 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Moscow, Russia - 24th March 2013

By: Dangerousebeans

Hi! How are you?

Today we visited one of my host’s the most favorite places in Moscow - the Novodevichy Convent! Its name, sometimes translated as the New Maidens' Monastery, was devised to differ from an ancient maidens' convent within the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike other Moscow cloisters, it has remained virtually intact since the 17th century. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  :stare:
The Novodevichy Convent was founded in 1524 by Grand Prince Vasili III in commemoration of the conquest of Smolensk in 1514. It was built as a fortress at a curve of the Moskva River and became an important part of the southern defensive belt of the capital, which had already included a number of other monasteries. The Novodevichy Convent was known to have sheltered many ladies from the Russian royal families and boyar clans, who had been forced to become nuns.  :thinking:
The Preobrazhenskiy church is constructed over a northern entrance of the monastery. It is well visible from the neighboring area.
We can get a bird's eye view of a monastery at the beginning of excursion.
The oldest structure in the convent is the six-pillared five-domed cathedral, dedicated to the icon Our Lady of Smolensk. Extant documents date its construction to 1524–1525; yet its lofty ground floor, magisterial proportions, and projecting central gable are typical of monastery cathedrals built at the behest of Ivan the Terrible. Most scholars agree that the cathedral was rebuilt in the 1550s or 1560s; it was formerly ringed by four smaller chapels, in an arrangement reminiscent of the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kremlin. Its frescos are among the finest in Moscow.

The cathedral may be a focal point of the convent, but there are many other churches. Most date from the 1680s, when the convent was thoroughly renovated at the behest of the regent Sophia Alexeyevna (who, ironically, would be incarcerated there later). The blood-red walls and crown-towers, two lofty over-the-gates churches, a refectory, and residential quarters were all designed in the Muscovite Baroque style, supposedly by a certain Peter Potapov. In the old cathedral, a new bowl for holy water and gilded carved iconostasis were installed in 1685.
An arresting slender belltower, also commissioned by Sophia, was built in six tiers to a height of 72 metres (236 ft), making it the tallest structure in 18th-century Moscow (after the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in the Kremlin). This light octagonal column seems to unite all major elements of the ensemble into one harmonious whole.
Especially interesting story is connected with this tower. After Peter I dethroned his elder sister, tsarevna Sofia, and forced her to the nun in 1689, she lived in this Naprudna tower. The kind brother decided to entertain his sister, and hanged out dead soldiers and her guards on trees under windows of her cell.  :(
But you cannot hang everybody. Even having become nun, Sofia found possibility to leave a wall of the dungeon for the purpose of love adventures. Today it is considered that the tower (or spirit of tsarevna Sofia) can grant the desires connected with love! It is enough to write it on a wall, to enclose a note between bricks or simply ask very strongly. Do you believe in it?  ;)
Like other Moscow monasteries (notably the Danilov and the Donskoy) the New Maidens' Monastery was coveted by the Russian nobility as a place of burial.  The Napoleonic hero Denis Davydov is also buried in the grounds. In 1898, the so-called Novodevichy Cemetery was opened without monastery walls. Anton Chekhov was one of the first notables to be interred at the new necropolis, and Nikolai Gogol was later reburied there too. During the Soviet epoch, it was turned into the most high-profile cemetery in the Soviet Union, with the likes of Peter Kropotkin, Nikita Khrushchev, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Konstantin Stanislavski, Boris Yeltsin, and Mstislav Rostropovich being interred there.
Especially I like figures of angels - often it is female graves,  the inconsolable spouse gave them a statue  :rolleyes:

Now we left the monastery constructed 500 years ago. At once behind a local pond the modern city begins - skyscrapers are seen on the horizon. Two different worlds incorporate here. Hey! Can you see a duck?  :D

Let's take a farewell look at monastery walls - how beautiful it is!
Monument "Let pass to ducklings" was established in Moscow, on the square avenue opposite to the Novodevichy Convent in 1991. It is an exact copy of a monument in Boston, in the USA. The sculptural composition was created by the architect, the sculptor and the restorer Nancey Shen. The plot is taken from the old fairy tale written for the American kids by writer Robert Makkloski many years ago. In it it is told about mother duck looking for a convenient and safe place for the family. On the way they meet many people. Someone treats them with a peanut, and policemen block off traffic to help ducklings quietly cross the road. In Moscow the monument appeared as a sign of friendship between the USA and the USSR. It was Barbara Bush a's gift to Raisa Maksimovna Gorbacheva.
Now the monument is adored by children - I hardly found second for a good photo!  :cyclops:

* Posted Mar 24, 2013, 5:13 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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