Our last full day in Moscow was spent at a much gentler pace, by this time we were all very tired. The main party returned to Poklonnoya Gora and Voenspec, but Oliver and I spent several leisurely hours at the Tretyakov Picture Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised at how much Oliver got from the gallery visit, art not really bring his thing, but many paintings depicted famous events and people in Russian history, and as I studied art history at college, I could add something to the mix as well. An excellent collection, worthy of a return visit if we ever get the chance.
We strolled towards Luzhkov Bridge where we saw these metal trees covered in Lovers' Locks.
There must be thousands of locks of all different shapes and sizes, mostly placed there by newly weds. There are similar locks in various locations around the world, but I had never seen them before.
We saw two newly-wed couples that afternoon, a stretch hummer brought some of the wedding party, along with two large 4x4s, all decked out is lilac and purple. The bride and her friends are dancing to loud music coming from a car parked out of shot. The tailgate is up and a buffet is spread out in the boot. Russians wear their wedding rings on their right hand, not their left.
A view of St Basil's Cathedral from Bol'shoy Moskvoretskiy Most, with the GUM department store beyond. A few days earlier we had been in Red Square opposite the store for the Dress Rehearsal of the Victory Day Parade and I had not photographed the cathedral at the time because of the harsh lighting condition - the sun shone from a cloudless sky at the wrong angle. What I would really love to do is photograph is at dusk! There are many overhead cables around Moscow , only one here, but some pictures are impossible to capture without a tangle of wires.
Gathered to celebrate on our last night, with our generous Russian hosts and friends: Oliver didn't know at the time this was taken, but he was soon to receive gifts, cards, a promotion and a Russian birthday cake! The next day he turned 14, and we travelled home very tired, but bursting with fantastic memories and new friendships.