Magic of 8, Brides, Bombs and Beijing
This week I have been working with my repeat client, Guy Norton from London, who makes frequent business trips to Moscow, and works with banks to collect information for Euroweek, the newspaper of the global capital markets. Today, on this magical date with the combination of the '8' digit (which is especially magic and lucky for the Chinese :-)) my client had only a couple of meetings at the beginning and end of the workday, so he had a lot spare time between his meetings, and asked me to take him to visit some parks and famous places (sightseeing tours). Since he has been here many times, and I have of course already shown him the main sights of Red Square, the Kremlin, and Cathedral of Christ the Savior, and he was not interested in spending the day in museums, because it was a very sunny and warm day, the first nice day since last week's cloudy, rainy and cold weather, I offered for his consideration 3 great places that I recommend to visit when people have time for sightseeing in Moscow. Tsaritsyno, Victory Park and VDNKh (All-Russia Exhibition center). He picked the Victory Park. A very nice park and great memorial to the Patriotic War of 1941-1945. First, before we went to Victory Park, we walked around Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin again, then had a small lunch with Russian blinis (pancakes) with ham and cheese, followed by a cup of coffee right on Red Square.
In the heart of Russia :-), the Red Square, we saw a lot of weddings - with beautiful brides, handsome grooms and their happy wedding parties. But Guy, my client, was most impressed when he saw all of the wedding parties that came to Victory Park. I can say, that it is here, at this memorial, that by our traditions (customs) we must visit during our wedding, and put flowers on the main Obelisk (Stella) in Victory Square. This is in memory of the soldiers and civilians who brought us victory over fascism, as well as peace and freedom for our lives. We like very much to follow some interesting traditions during weddings here in Russia. For example, we carry brides over bridges, put locks on fences of bridges, drink champagne everywhere we go to visit, take pictures, dance and just have fun during this fascinating day in our life, wedding I mean. :-). So as you can guess, there were many weddings in the world today. Many people booked the date of 08/08/2008 for their wedding far in advance, believing that the number 8 will bring them good luck and prosperity in the future. I've heard in the news this morning, that today there will be about 1700 weddings just in Moscow city alone, so it's hard to imagine the statistic for weddings around the whole world! So many people are having fun on this day!
Plus there is another great event today. It is also the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, where the number 8 is the most popular number in that country. I can say, and even they decided, to open this important sporting event at 08 PM 08 min 08 sec by local time…
Now I have to tell you about some not so exciting, and I even can say sad news that came with this day too… Georgia, a former Soviet republic, that now is independent state, leading by their president Saakashvilli sent troops into South Ossetia on Thursday, reportedly to crack down on separatists, who want independence or unification with North Ossetia, which is in Russia... Full story with pictures that I am going to post very soon, you can read here: Magic of 8, brides, bombs and Beijing
Sincerly from Russia,
Your Guide & Driver in Moscow
About Me in Short
My name's Arthur Lookyanov, I'm a private tour guide, personal driver and photographer in Moscow, Russia. I work in my business and run my website Moscow-Driver.com from 2002. Read more about me and my services, check out testimonials of my former business and travel clients from all over the World, hit me up on Twitter or other social websites. I hope that you will like my photos as well.
See you in Moscow!