5 photos, 5 stories : Day 3

When Gilly of “Lucid Gypsy” invited me to join the 5 photo 5 story challenge I decided to take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the iconic places I have seen.

Day one I went back to India and remembered the Taj Mahal that Magnificent Mausoleum.

Day two it was a breathless walk into the depths of the Grand Canyon.

Today I remember the posturing of Russia back in 1989.

The 1989 Victory Day Celebrations in Red Square Moscow.

To the accompaniment of drum and bugle they marched and halted in rows six deep around the massive square.

Thousands of fresh-faced Russian youngsters, dressed in uniforms of death.

The political walls of the Kremlin loomed on the right

St Bazil’s domed and turreted presence, a caricature of religion, in gaudy bright array,

backed by the red bricked façade of Gum, department store of communism, half empty to this day.

Atop the tomb of Lenin the dignitaries assemble, Gorbachev surrounded by decision-making men

A wave of solid sound reverberates around the ranks of soldiers as three loud cheers were commanded.

Then silence……….

The crisp air of winter caused tendril breath to rise, and the wind whipped flags, cracked in the lull.

The clock above the Kremlin struck ten……

Then the boom of a dozen cannons shattered the momentary stillness and reverberated around the square. The acrid tang of cordite hung in the air.

From the distance a rumble, like thunder, grew and the cobblestones trembled beneath our feet as the military advanced.

The old tanks of the Crimea slowly trundled into sight. Then faster and faster the machines of war came by.

The squadrons of ever-sophisticated weapons roared across from right to left.

For an hour they kept coming, the senses numbed by their procession.

Overwhelmed, as we were meant to be, by this show of Russian, sabre rattling superiority.

From the guns of Crimea to the deadly accurate missiles of the future. Juggernauts of destruction.

Looking round I saw a frail old man, with medals on his chest, standing rigidly to attention, with tears of remembrance in his eyes.

A woman clutching a young child to her side.

A chill brushed my skin and a lump rose in my throat. I thought of all the horror depicted by these machines of war and uniforms so drab.

Now it is all over, with military pomp and style the soldiers march away to the beat of drum and bugle.

All that is left is the vibration of their passing, the mournful, staccato flapping of the flags and the pervading smell of cordite.


Gorbachev was the premier of Russia and in 1989 the buzz word was “Peristrioka”, democracy. This was the first year that westerners had been allowed to witness the Victory Day parade and it was an overwhelming experience.


The second part of the challenge is to pass the baton on to another blogger. So today I would like to nominate (drum roll please) My good friend Jill of “Jill’s Scene”. Jill is a true adventure traveller with great experiences to share and fantastic photos. She tells her stories with a dry wit and charm. Go across and say G’day to her and explore her world.

There’s no obligation Jill, have fun if you want to join in!

The challenge is to just “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

Categories: 5 photos 5 days, photography, Red Square, Russia | Tags: , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “5 photos, 5 stories : Day 3

  1. They just get better…I once wanted to visit Moscow and St Petersberg, but I doubt that will happen now.

  2. Wonderful photos. Love hearing and seeing with you on your travels. We haven’t traveled in about 8 years. We are 78 and 79 and are tentatively considering a trip to the South of France with a grown son to drive and help us if we should need it. Do you or any of your readers know much about the South of France to suggest particular spots and have any advice?

    • Thank you for commenting Eileen I love to hear from you. Unfortunately I do not know France very well as I only visited Paris for 2 days back in 1990, far too little time. Lucky you going there. I am now 73 and Jack is 83 so, much as I would love to visit UK and Europe again that long plane ride puts us off. We now limit our travels to Australia and NZ

  3. What a special time to be in russia – make that significant. and your wiritng was a bit different in this post P – very nice and almost choppy and strong – like the feel of the whole scene

    “From the guns of Crimea to the deadly accurate missiles of the future. Juggernauts of destruction.”

    • I actually wrote that and put it in the photo album just after I had witnessed the parade it was a very emotional experience. I look at that photo, and others I took, and I can feel the shake of the ground and the sounds and smells of that day.

      • I agree with Prior. Such vivid writing – the Kremlin clock striking 10 – I almost hear and feels its resonance 🙂

        • That day will be etched in my memory for ever. Just getting to the Red Square was a journey, going through 3 check points and Vladimir, our lovely interpreter and guide, turned back at the first check point, he thought he could get through as he was Russian but he didn’t have the correct permit. So we had to mange with out him. Communication became quite a challenge for the rest of the day.

      • wow – your comment is even riveting…
        “shake of the ground and the sounds and smells”

  4. Pingback: 5 Photos, 5 Stories : Day 4 | Memories are made of this

  5. I really like that opening shot and the angle of all those hats, Pauline 🙂 Moscow is a place I’d love to go too. Oh, darn- I wish you wouldn’t keep dusting off these memories 🙂 🙂

    • I think it has changed so much since I was there Jo. It was just emerging from the communist era and Gorbachev was trying to change to a democratic country

      • Yes, indeed. So interesting to see it when you did, though. You were a bit of a trail blazer back then. (and not doing so badly now 🙂 ) Hugs!

        • Travel has certainly changed. I think all the Boomer Babies are now flooding into the travel scene. We were the generation before them. Don’t know what they labelled our generation. Maybe the “war babies”…

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