The first actual day of the trip started with a standard breakfast at our hotel. Our day was to include the morning at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, in the afternoon a visit to a construction materials company called Knauf, and in the evening we would still be treated with a 3-hour roundtrip in the night of Moscow.
We were supposed to walk from the hotel to the university (which is supposed to be nearby), so everyone wrapped themselves in arctic gear and got ready for the transition at 8:45 at the lobby. As it turned out, the distance was very “nearby”, maybe 50 meters from the hotel entrance, so our preparation was not required.
Development of the Russian State
We were given an introduction into the development of the Russian State, starting from the very early days ranging back to Roman Empire and Mongols. Dr. Alexander Lazutkin explained very clearly why Russia has become what it is today, and also his opinion of the future. He personally didn’t seem to have too high hopes for Russia, the options are either to join the EU, or to die within the next 50 years. All in all a very enlightening presentation, and some food for thought for all of us.
Knauf company visit
After a Japanese-style lunch, our bus was waiting to take us to Knauf, which is located just at the city border of Moscow. We were shown around their production facilities, and we saw how different construction materials are produced. Before and after the factory tour, we were explained by various people the supply chain of Knauf, and what problems they are facing with it.
One of the big issues in Russia that we discovered was the poor condition of the country’s infrastructure, which is clearly slowing down the overall development of the country. Knauf had exactly this problem, a lot of their supply chain depends on rail transports, and the poor condition and poor availability of locomotives and cars is a constant problem.
Moscow city tour
After returning from Knauf, we had very little time off to arrange ourselves something to eat before we already headed off to the Moscow city tour. In a very condensed 3-hour trip we had the opportunity to do some tourist shopping and sightseeing, visit the famous Red Square, and see many of the famous locations mostly from the bus window. At least now we know where the Gorky Park is (by the Moskova-river, as we know from the song), what the Bolshoi-theater looks like, and how massive really the Luschniki-stadium is.