Friday, September 10, 2004

And still more Moscow--Wednesday 

Very little of today's post takes place in Moscow, as we left the city for most of the day and journeyed to the small town of Sergiev Posad, whose Trinity Monastery is an important center for the Russian Orthodox church. The drive took about an hour, and we stopped along the way to look at a beautifully painted wooden house and pick green apples from a tree.

Along the way, Valentina delivered some distressing news: Two airplanes flying out of Moscow had exploded in midair, and everybody on board was dead. She hastened to assure us that there were no foreigners on board, and she mistakenly told us that one of the airliners was Aeroflot.

Once in the town, we stopped by a restaurant so that Valentina could confirm our lunch plans, and I took this picture of the kids while we waited for her:

From there we walked over to the monastery for our guided tour of the grounds. Tours like this always make me feel guilty--there I am surrounded by such amazing beauty, and I feel like I could sufficiently enjoy in, say, 5 to 10 minutes what it takes our guide half an hour to microscopically analyze. It was beautiful though, and I amused myself by taking photos. I think that this photo is my favorite one of all that I shot in Russia:

I love her sweet face. I love how she clearly looked directly at me. Her father (grandfather?) was leading her along by the hand rather impatiently, and he was in much too much of a hurry to see me, but she did. He's probably one of the most important people in her life, and he doesn't know everything she sees, even when he is right there by her side. It makes me wonder what I miss of my own children's realities.

This is another of my favorites. I call it "Flock of Babushkas":

After a delicious lunch (finally, borscht!), we climbed back into our bus and headed back to Moscow. We had checked out of our hotel that morning, and we had a couple hours to kill before meeting our group for our last dinner in Moscow. We amused ourselves by exploring GUM once again. We visited a fancy-pants icecream shop where we spent an insane amount of money (something like 25 euro for the icecream you see below--euro demanded; change given in rubles). It was quite delicious though:

Here are the kids with Valentina and an unidentified man with an unidentified bird outside the restaurant that night:

After supper, we had a brief wait for some of our tour members who had attended the circus that night. It gave me a chance to capture Basil by night:

And then we were on our way to the train station! It was quite a chaotic scene, both in the parking lot and on the platform. Finally, we were all bedded down in our cozy (very!) compartments and managed to survive a not-too-terribly-uncomfortable 8-hour ride to St. Petersburg:

Now, at this point you're probably saying to yourself, "But she said she took over 350 photos! And there are only a dozen or so in all of her Moscow posts put together. Where are the rest?" The rest of them are right here--please take a moment to check them out.

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