Today the weather was bad. So bad in fact that it may have got to me and I may or may not have been a little cranky this morning traipsing in the cold with snow blowing directly into my eyes. My husband would probably like to add to this but it’s not his blog so the accusations can not be confirmed. In my defense the weather really was bad and we didn’t get too much sleep last night in our room in the reception area of the hotel.
So anyway our plan of walking a few kilometers to a cathedral and then onto a big park were abandoned very early on and instead we found ourselves in a cafe drinking coffee. Well I had coffee, Tim tried the local blackberry tea which was really very nice but the lack of caffeine didn’t cut it for me.
But after that we decided to make it museum day and visited the museum in St Basil’s Cathedral first. We didn’t realize that each spire was a different church, we though it was just one big one. But instead we were greeted by a rabbit warren of hallways into different churches with the walls painted in amazing patterns. We also got to hear a 3 piece choir in one of the chapels. They were really amazing and sounded like 20 people were singing rather than 3.
Next up was the state museum which was the giant red brick building on the north side of Red square. Well this place was monstrous with exibitions from the Stone Age. The rooms were the highlight with most being specifically styled for a particular era or fashion. The mosaic floors were beautiful. Unfortunately when we got to the interesting exhibitions from around the 18th century all trace of English disappeared. Then the exhibitions stopped well before the revolution.
Next we caught the metro to another museum. The metro stations are phenomenal. Works of art in themselves. Marble, slate, stained glass. Really very cool and almost Museum like in themselves. The museum we were going to was the Gulag museum. When the socialist revolution happened Lenin was the leader but then he died in 1924. Stalin took over and he was a monster to put it simply. He either executed his opposition or put them in concentration camps called Gulag camps. But it wasn’t just his opposition it was the general public as well, scientists, writers or anyone who even remotely was in suspicion of anti-Soviet sentiment, with over 1.5 million people imprisoned. This museum told the story of the Gulag camps. Scary. I really did not know the full story. To make matters worse the Second World War was also happening. It must have been a horrible time to live in Russia.
By this stage it was late afternoon so after a quick shower we headed back out again. There was a funky pub/hotel right near our hotel so we splurged and had a lovely dinner there and a nice bottle of red. By this stage the snow had stopped. See, a good bottle of wine really does make everything okay! S
Snow on the roof top!
The inside of St Basil’s. Such wonderful frescos.
Some shots from the Metro stops.