Sunday, March 27, 2011
A group of about 20 of us from the Embassy signed up for a tour of the Kubinka Tank Museum. Since it is still on an active military base we had to be cleared by the Russian government in advance. We left about 9:30am for the all day trip. It was a relatively cold day but mostly sunny. Renee did not go on this trip, being more of a "guy' thing. After about an hour and a half ride we arrived at a group of rather nondescript building housing all the tanks. Six hangers that were colder inside than out. A long winter of cold setting into all that steel created quite the cold sink. There was a small cafe and information center. Our tour guide was Russian so we had an interpreter but my Russian classes are starting to help as I could pick out a word here and there.
We spent extensive time in the German and Russian hanger and then had extra time to visit the others without a guide. It was definitely sensory overload. There we many experimental tanks of all different countries. The smallest being a remote control tank to the 2 story behemoth "Adam". I really liked the Motorcycle unit and would love to duplicate that someday.
We learned the origin of the name "Tank". It was the code word the English used when shipping the prototypes to Russian. They just labeled the crates "tanks" as in water or fuel.
Lots of photos here.....
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
We now have our house on the market. We have it listed with Rowell Sargeant ,
Keller Williams Realty Edmond
10 East Campbell
Edmond, OK 73034
So if any one is interested.....
Or should I say VP visit? last Wednesday Vice President Biden stopped by the Embassy for a meet and greet with the embassy crew. He was in Moscow doing what politicians do. He was staying at a hotel near Red Square and not actually at the Embassy. I signed up to help with courier work during the visit but at the last moment it was decided that we would not be needed. So much for some overtime!. Renee and I decided to put our political opinions aside and go see the VP. After all it's not everyday you get to do just that. It was about a 45 minuet program and he really had a good time with the kids that were there.
A few more photos here.
A few more photos here.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
It has been a little tough sitting down to blog. We were a bit depressed for a time about the earth quake in Christchurch but believe they will rebuild and rebound. All of the nearly 600 participants in the USAP were accounted for. Please keep NZ in your thoughts and prayers.
Now on to better things. A group of us decided to take a weekend to the country to Sergiev Posad. It was about a hour and a half drive NE of Moscow. We stayed at a Dacha (or vacation home), kinda of a bed and breakfast operated by a very nice lady named Sveta. It is a famous place for pancakes, www.pancake-hill.ru and several monasteries and one famous cave monastery. The house was very cozy and Sveta was a great host. She lost her husband in a fire at the house five years ago and has been slowly rebuilding. After arriving and having a pancake snack we left for the Troika ride and campfire. Lots of fun and lots of photos. We cooked hotdogs on the fire and drank a little vodka. It was cold but a very good time.
We spent the evening with a delicious Russian dinner, some cribbage and time in the bayna (sauna). Tradition is time in the bayna then a dip in the cold pool or a roll in the snow. Invigorating!
We visited 2 monasteries that were very beautiful and full of history. The Cave Monastery, Chernigovsky Skit, was really interesting and still under renovation. Many of these monasteries were closed or even destroyed during "the Soviet period of time" as Sveta would say.
All in all a great weekend away with a great group of friends and a wonderful host.