Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September
From St Petersburg we drove to Novgorod, an ancient Russian capital, where we visited a Yuriev Monastry, Museum of Wooden Architecture (and more weddings) then to the city centre – Kremlin, Cathedral, monuments…
The day ended with an amazing dinner (stroganoffish) in a Kremlin Tower, where another party thoroughly entertained us with birthday celebrations including a folk band and dancing.
The overnight “first-class” 2-berth sleeping compartment to Moscow was interesting. Sheets sewn the wrong way, square wheels, heavy smokers and unopenable windows. Ahhh, only in Russia!
We arrived very early in the morning by train from St Petersburg and Novgorod.
Disappointingly it was raining and the Red Square was closed – seemed like a bad start.
Our first stop was to the see St Basil’s, then to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the old stone bridge and on to the Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery.
After lunch we toured the city, saw Moscow from Sparrow Hill and then to the Tretyakov Gallery, which was founded by Pavel Tretyakov, a wealthy patron of the arts who donated a large private collection to the city. Our last sightseeing was the Luzhkov Bridge – popular with tourists and wedding parties.
In the evening, Bruce & I walked down Tverskaya Street to Red Square.
Our second day in Moscow started on the underground. The stations are amazing, highly decorated and very grit free, compared to others we have seen.
Lunch was in the massive Okhotny Ryad Shopping Mall – four storeys underground. Then to the Kremlin, where we visited the churches and the armoury, between sunshine and rain showers.
More underground, to the Verniasazh (Flea) Market for some shopping bargains – Bruce was tempted to buy a copy, antique Leica camera.
The day finished with a farewell dinner for most of the 16 – only 4 of us are continuing on the Golden Ring tour.