oscow of the Tsars and Kommisars


July 8 - September 10, 2005

Russian flag

Moscow River and Kremlin
Moscow River and Kremlin

Jan had so often wished she could spend time in Russia and lo and behold, a small handwritten ad on the wall of Sciences Po (Paris' prestigious Political Science graduate school) unlocked it all for her. After making a preliminary deal we wondered and wondered for two weeks of June if all would come through and we'd get flat, visa, and an affordable airfare. They did and after a one-week detour to Darlington, our first return since 10/2002, we felt quite a thrill as we set down on the southern outskirts of Moscow.

The flat we rented was 2 km (1 mile) to the west of the Kremlin - i.e. in the heart of the heart of Moscow - and gave us terrific access to Metros and buses so that we could get around very easily. The Kremlin was all they say it is (and probably more as we could never swing tickets for the Armory). Russian prices are crazy: a night at the opera or music hall costs less than a simple dinner. So we went out lots - once, after five minutes of a performance (it was all in Russian, including the title) we were surprised to learn we were seeing "My Fair Lady"! We were lucky to be in town on the anniversary of the Battle of Borodino so we took the train out (a hassle with our limited Russian) and saw a re-enactment on the original battlefield by a cast of thousands and an audience bigger than that which fled Napoleon's original invasion.

December 31, 2005