Blog 7 Swan Lake, Thanksgiving, Hermitage, Novgorod, Moscow, Red Square,
In a snow storm on the day before Thanksgiving, Franny and I went to the famed Mariinskiy Theater (arguably the best opera/ballet in the world) to see an magical performance of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake with 60+ floating twirling ballerina’s on stage plus nearly as many soaring men.
First we had an elegant dinner at the Theatro restaurant across the street (you can see the theater thru the window)
Franny in our box seat.
Some of the magical dancers.
Franny cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the Americans here (plus a few Russians). It was a 32 pound turkey — and I had to hack it in half with a hammer and butcher knife. . Looked like a side of beef that hangs in a walk in freezer! Franny cooked half for dinner and half for take-home. But a great dinner. Started at noon and lasted till midnight.
Then did another Hermitage and Winter Palace trip for more wonderful art and architecture inside, and a few pictures of winter scenes thru the windows.
Last week the temperatures dropped to zero with wind chill of minus 20 or so. And I got up at 530 to take day a day trip to Novgorod the ancient Russian city state that Alexander Nevsky saved in 1250ad.
Here is the sun rising on the bus trip at 930.
Here is a statue celebrating the ?tri-century anniversary of Russia.
Then I rode the high speed train to Moscow (took the sleeper back). Alt one point in the 4 hour ride, past the endless snow covered Russian steep and forest, the electronic sign said:
Speed: 230 kilometers per hour
Temp: -30 degrees Celsius (about minus 25 F)
Carter at the Kremlin in the freezing cold.
RED SQUARE. For most of my life, Red Square just outside the Kremlin would symbolize the EVIL EMPIRE that threated to wipe out America and the whole world with a nuclear holocaust. With the evil Stalin who murdered tens of millions of his own people reviewing tanks and goos-stepping troops troops from Lenin’s tomb.
Today it is friendlier with Gum department store ablaze with light’s, Christmas trees, colorful onion dome cathedrals, and Lenin’s tomb and the Kremlin on the right.
Besides the Christmas tree, there is a sort of bouncy skating rink in the middle where the tanks used to rumble by.
And here is a view of the other end. A sort of Russian Disney land.
My AA business friends from Finland and Denmark say Russia is really supportive for small-middle sized businesses. The folks we meet here seem optimistic and forward looking, a far cry from the dismal soviet times.
We will be home soon. Our love to all .