• 2 November 2013

New goals, new destinations should always be…

New goals, new destinations should always be…

New goals, new destinations should always be… 300 169 Gürkan Genç

It was good to be in Russia at New Year. There were no entrance fees for museums during this period, for instance. J So, people from all around the country came to visit museums. The museums are also popular with junior students. By the way, entrance fees are normally around 30-50 TL. I was told by Orkun that definitely I should visit the Memorial Museum of Space Exploration. Let’s go :). I’m not much informed about space, space science etc.  I don’t think either that anyone else of my generation is also interested with this. Before starting to my world tour, my friend Melek was taking her daughter Doğa to a space camp in İzmir which surprised me. Then, while I was on the way, Turkey launched a satellite. During the occasion of the launching ceremony held at a Turkish university campus it came to violence between the students and police. Instead of folk whose taxes were used to recover the expenses of space researches, police attended the ceremony, more’s the pity. Nevertheless, let’s go to the space museum and see what Russians succeeded in.

When I was a little boy, my father used to say “Suputnik”. The first artificial earth satellite launched by Soviet Union. That is going to be interesting.


Anyway, we set off together with Orkun and Orhan. It is impossible not to admire the subway of Moscow. What a system this is, what a network, what an architecture, a state of art, unbelievable. It is like being in an open-air museum, I haven’t ever seen such a work. What a pity that Moscow had not received any award for this subway. In Ankara at Kizilay square, there is an “European Capital” award placed in a glass cover of 3 hand spans to 2 hand spans. Man should be ashamed to place it. Don’t you ever travel around and see the other capitals. I’m going to tell you about the subway of Moscow in detail, but first let me tell about the museum.

We came in front of the entrance. There is a queue albeit, it is minus 10 centigrade.  It is normal as the entrance is free. Orkun told me that the queue was stretching 1 km last year. Wow, don’t tell me. Then, we are lucky, this time it is only 500 m long. Hahaha. Now, these people had used to wait in a line during Soviet time. Fuel line, bread line, vegetables line, fruits line so on…Ugh, it is minus 10 centigrade and we are waiting in the line since 2 hours. No one is complaining. No one is shouting “Hey, we are freezing take us inside”. By the way, don’t think that the Russians do not freeze. They, also freeze be sure about that J. Even, they wondered how come I didn’t get chilly. But, aha, nobody is complaining.

At the end, we entered the museum. Initially, everybody ran towards cloakroom. I saw this happening for first time in Kiev. Meanwhile, there is a cloakroom in almost every public building: In shopping centers, theatres, movies, museums, universities, schools. Just leave your belongings at the cloakroom and hang around comfortably. But, there was also a long queue and I thought not to waste further an hour waiting in a line J.


Initially what we encountered in the museum were the first satellites. Wow, let me inspect these. Launched in 1958 to Venus, in 1959 to Mars, in 1960 to take photos of the Moon. Wow, what is this? The first satellite launched in 1932…Wow, wow, wow.. 1938, 1939.. Those guys didn’t do anything but launched rockets and satellites to the space. No, I look at the satellites and I swear they are not distinguishable than the stoves in our house. For god’s sake, look at this. It even has a place to put chestnut. Open the door and place it in J

Meanwhile, having military coups, civil war we reached the year 2013 in our country. By this time we are only capable sending our children to space camps. How ironic! What else can I say! We attitudinize with having launched a satellite from another country. The guys launched in 1957 Sputnik successfully orbiting the Earth. That satellite is looking simply like a pressure cooker.

Do you know that the page “Gurkan Genc Nerede? (Where is Gurkan Genc)” on my web site? SPOT is tracking me with 28 different artificial satellites orbiting the Earth.

There is a scale replica of Mir Space Station. I entered inside. I’m astonished, how come these guys could launch with such equipment. There is a Commodore 64 next to Amiga 500. How fast technology is developing, amazing.

During that period of time, Russia and America were in a huge competition. Russians were the first to launch an artificial satellite. The first human to journey into outer space was Yuri Gagarin. His sculpture was placed in the center of the museum.


We passed to the rear sections of the museum. There are the rocket systems tested between the years 1918-1930. It may also be possible to observe similar rockets in the science and space programs or what so ever departments, I suppose. I’m sure that we are also able to produce some certain parts of such systems in the mean time, but as you look at that time span you get really astonished.

A refrigerator example in the space shuttle

What should be in a toolbox of an astronaut: chisel, pliers, hammer J

A touch screen is placed on the wall presenting the people who went to space to date. There are people from 60 different nations but not any Turks. After while, this folk complains that  Turkey is presented as third world country in Skyfall, the new movie of James Bond. Now look here! You will start crying if you hear which countries among these 60 nations had been in space. We have even not pedaled around the world with bike yet. What a wonderful dream is that: I will go to space, that’s it. This is a realistic dream. I had asked to Turkish high school students after my presentations what their dreams were. One of the answers was: “To watch Besiktas soccer match in VIP saloon”. You really get shocked. “I want to buy a car, a flat”. “Why are you traveling the earth with a bike, wouldn’t it be easier with a motorbike? Why don’t you travel with motorbike? J”. The dream of a kid is come to such a museum, of course, be to go to space. He/she would get an education accordingly. Even, I’m about to dream of going to the space.

Wait for my next chapter you won’t believe what is coming up. I entered a sports class in a town, JJJ.

Once you are in Moscow, you must definitely visit this space museum. One kilometer away from the museum there is a cultural center. VDNKH, I don’t know what that means J.

You can also call this square as golden girls. During the Soviet era, pavilions were built on this square each presenting one of USSR’s republics. Pavilion of Kyrgyzstan, of Azerbaijan, of Armenia etc. A woman statue was placed in each pavilion. Each pavilion is a real art design. Formerly, in each pavilion regional products had been sold which they belong to. Then, after the end the Soviet era all had gone.

In many of the pavilions souvenirs are sold of which the sellers are Indian. Hahaha. In any store you enter, an Indian comes next to you. “Come, I have cheap products. You can bargain, Come, just come, come on.” Only one of the pavilion remained it characteristic: the pavilion of Armenia


Armenian renewed their pavilion selling their own products inside. You know, they have a passion to “Ağrı” mountain… Their famous Ararat is our “Ağrı” mountain. The cognac they are producing under the name Ararat since 1887 is among the world wide high quality cognacs. Since Armenia is not enroute, I decided try this cognac here. It was served with Armenian baklava. I must say that, the baklava is not far so good as ours but better than the Azerbaijani one.

By the way, there is a natural ice skating area. The weather is continually minus 10 centigrade and it snows. If you don’t have your own ice skaters you can borrow a pair. But I’m not in the mood to wait in a long line. Just next to the right there is a more amusing game. Do you remember? We just ran outside to the streets when it had snowed taking nylon bags and sliding till having frozen bottoms. Here, they made business out of this.  


They constructed a slide from ice giving a plastic thing under your bottom. Slide man slide J I tested it, of course. As an old nylon bag slider, it wouldn’t be not to test it. I climbed the slide with the plastic equipment. By the way, there were only kids of 8 to 10 years around me. Buddy! This is made of ice. If I got to fall down I would be beaten up, upon my word. You must see how these kids climb the ice steps. They don’t care whether they fall down or not. I let the boy behind in front of me. Actually, I observe how he slides. Hahaha.

Anyway, it was a really funny and lovely day. I saw in this country how a city could be turned into an attraction center and that the museums be free during vacations. I must congratulate the Moscow municipality…

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