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APOGEE PHOTO MAGAZINE: Travel Adventures-Part 4: Moscow by Noella Ballenger 4 of 65/8/2009Copyright © Noella BallengerThe Tsar’s bell, cast in 1735, isthe world’s largest bell. Itweighs almost 202 tons. Beforeit could be rung, during a firewhere there was uneven heatingand cooling, the large bellcracked and this major chunkfell out. The bell is decoratedwith the rich relief work on thebell's exterior, depicting JesusChrist, the Virgin Mary, Johnthe Baptist, Russian rulers andtheir patron saints.Copyright © Noella BallengerThe Tsar Cannon is the largesthowitzer ever made. It wascommissioned in 1536 andweighs nearly 38 metric tons.It’s barrel is 17.5 feet long. Thetwo-ton cannonballs displayedare larger than the diameter ofthe barrel and were intended tobe a humorous addition to thehuge cannon.Copyright © Anne & Stan WestfallCopyright © Stan WestfallInside of the Kremlin walls arethe many office and statebuildings as well as the ArmorySeeing signs such as McDonaldsand Starbucks brought a touchof home-away-from-home to us.McDonalds was packed andimpossible to get into. We weremore fortunate in Starbucks. Iordered my favorite latte andwas astounded to find that what

APOGEE PHOTO MAGAZINE: Travel Adventures-Part 4: Moscow by Noella Ballenger 5 of 65/8/2009that houses the historic jewelsand treasures of Russia and thechurches.I pay around $4.00 here in theUnited States, cost almost$10.00 US in Moscow.The next day was departure day and it was really difficult to leave some of thegood friends we had made among the tour guides and other guests on theship. But while it had been a long tour and an exciting time for all of us, Ithink we were ready to go home.As a professional photographer, the big question is would I do another highlystructured tour again and the answer is absolutely yes. If I were going to anarea where I neither spoke, neither understood nor read the language, I thinkan organized tour is a terrific way to be introduced to the country. I think anorganized tour made it possible to see more, with greater ease than being onmy own. I didn't have to worry about where to eat or what to do andcould enjoy and appreciate the many sights, all while learning about thepeople, the customs, the culture and the countryside.Was I frustrated beyond words by not being able to get out and explore on myown? Sometimes, to be sure, but there are tradeoffs and you just had to makea decision one way or another.When I return to Russia, would I do a tour again … probably not. But it washeaven to just sit back and let someone else do all of the work of reservationsand decision making. Will I return to Russia … absolutely! There was somuch to see and do and I know that there will be much more to enjoy the nexttime.Thanks for coming along and sharing our adventures. Maybe next time I willmeet you there.~~~~~Would you like to learn more and become an even better photographer? Be sureto join Noella in one of her online classes presented through Apogee Photo.You'll want to get signed up today - just click here.Visit her site at or send her an e-mail at Writeto her at P.O. Box 457, La Canada, CA 91012, call: (818) 954-0933 or fax: (818) 954-0910 formore information on her workshop/tours.To find other articles by Noella, just type her name in the Search Box.Search

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