3 - September 30, 2006
Off at 10 am for a lecture on "Russia in the Context of World Culture" by V. Pavlova. I have absolutely no memory of this event at all, possibly due to my knack for dozing after breakfast. Nor does Barbara. Then we were off to the bus for a tour around Moscow. We had a sandwich on the bus for lunch, one we had made from the breakfast buffet materials. So are Elderhostel budgets made.
We stopped at the Cathedral of the Christ the Saviour, which was quite impressive. It was a 19th C. monument that was torn down in 1931 for a proposed Palace of the Soviets, never built. In the mid1990's it was rebuilt by the Orthodox Church. I liked the sculptures over the doors. After that we were off outside the city to the grounds of the University of Moscow at Sparrow Hills. We stopped there at a scenic overlook that was jammed with students and tourists. It's a popular spot for wedding couples to come to and they were greeted with fanfares from a pick-up band. Many souvenir stands and they were used by our group.
Another early dinner at the Moscow Kupecheskaya Restaurant and then we were taken to the Helikon Opera for a performance of Mozart's Magic Flute. This is a young and innovative company which is given to imaginative new settings of operas, with all that that implies. It was quite terrible, although the singers were very good. (Russians can sing!) When were were told, after Act 1, that there were two more hours to come, about half the group gave up and Violetta took us back to the hotel and then went back for the stalwart hold-outs.