Stas’s mom is the adviser to minister of Ecology. Inna secured us a visit atop the Moscow State University Stalin tower! What a thrill beyond words that money couldn’t buy!
Stas and I started by going to the science conference. The MSU president spoke followed by Moscow’s mayor. There was tons of media and the place was packed. Inna had VIP passes – quite cool. Then to the real event. Just across the street is MSU’s Stalin tower. This is one of the Stalin Seven Sisters. Very few get the privilege to see Moscow from the tower’s highest rooms. (Today the weather is foggy which precludes long distance views.) Views here are from the highest point in/around Moscow. We take an elevator to the 24th floor. Through one locked entrance we take another elevator to the 32nd floor. As the doors open we walk into a rotunda of columns. The view is from above looking down towards the floor (4 stories below). The room contains some artwork, some statues and figure heads, a workspace or two, some cabinets and other odds-and-ends. We step outside onto the balcony and view Moscow! Please see the photos. When done gazing we go back in and down to the 28nd floor. This is the rotundas ground floor. Gaze up and see a star identical to what’s on the Kremlin. Around the room hangs marble slabs with Marcist and Stalin quotes. Down to the 24th floor and we get a tour of their ecology museum. You can tell the artifacts were gathered and presented 20, 30, 40 or more years ago. The host tells us he wants to update but isn’t allowed. Everything is hand-drawn or hand-made. Maps, plaster hemispheres noting the artic circle, wood and stone, and stuffed animals abound all around the room. You can see the age but yet realize it is quite a preservation – and tastefully and professional done. I can’t help but think how much my grandfather would have loved (died for) the chance to visit this room! (He was a WV forester and adored the outdoors.)
Back downtown for dinner.