Sunday, May 13, 2007

Leaving Leningrad

We have had a fantastic last day in Russia. The sun has been shining all day.
Our first stop was the Aleksander Nevsky Monstery. It was Sunday morning so the church was full of worshippers. We joined in...for about 10 minutes. That was enough to enjoy the voices raised in song - as it is an orthodox service, there is no sitting, which is why we didn't stay longer, plus, we had to go in search of a certain gentleman we had been eager to find.  That's right...Dostoevsky.
Dale at Dostoevsky's grave

After wandering amongst the fallen and overgrown tombstones we realized we were in the wrong cemetery, and made our way to the far tidier plot which houses the famous graves. We found Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and others. We were quite pleased.
Dale in Lazarus Cemetary, St. Petersburg

tombstone skulls, Lazarus Cemetary

From there we hopped on the metro to visit the Chesma Cathedral, where Rasputin laid in state after his murder. A stranger church i have never seen. It is pretty and pink, like a cupcake.
Chesma Cathedral
We then zipped back downtown to take in the Russian Museum, which had an exhaustive collection of Russian Art, the early 20th century works being my favorites (i.e. Kandinsky). The museum is housed in the former Mikhailovsky palace and is quite impressive.

To close the day we went to the Grand Hotel Europe - bar none the most elegant hotel in the city. We sat in the uber elegant and refined hotel lounge which doubles as a cigar lounge of sorts. We were there for nearly three hours. I had two cigars and vodkas to match. Betty Lou sipped fruity non-alcoholic cocktails and we nibbled on a fine platter of fruit and cheese. It was a perfect way to close our trip.
Mariinskiy Theatre
We are now going back to our room to prepare for our train trip; we leave at 7 am, so it will be an early day.
We both agree that our trip to Russia has been as wonderful and inspiring as we had imagined. Hopefully Estonia will be equally rewarding.
Thank you again for checking in on us.
For the final time,
Da svidanya,
Dale & Betty Lou
Dale in Moscow Metro Station

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