Russia and beyond 2013 travel blog

Once we had gone through the security checks we finally got in to the Kremlin which is emormous. The size is best appreciated from the Moskova River. There are numerous Cathedrals including The Assumption and Annunciation Cathedrals both dating back to the 1400's. The Annunciation Cathedral was significantly rebuilt by Ivan the Terrible in 1562-64. We saw the Bell Tower, Tsars Bell which is broken and Cannon. Fabulous frescos and icons and plenty of gold and silver. Moscow was founded in 1147 by Prince Yury Dolgoruky and became the capital in the 15th century until St Petersburg became the capital in 1712 until 1918. The Kremlin has always been regarded as a power not only by the Tzars but also during the cold war.

The Armoury is one of the oldest and richest museum in Russian which we soon were were able to enjoy. Fabulous Faberge and many other treasures. The Diamond Fund was quite something but No Photos and no books so I'll just have to try to remember the sparkle as there was so much to see. We also saw lumps of gold and uncut diamonds which just looked like little stones. It is the cutting of many facets that give them that amazing sparkle. The collection dates back to 1719 and Peter 1. 85% of the exhibits are from the period 1719 -1855, Peter the Great until Nicholas. The other 15% is from the last three emperors.

We are getting use to the Russian food. I think it is very stodgy but at least we are not hungry. Lots of different borsch variations on a theme. Cabbage pies that are sweet and rather good. Russian salad which seems to be a heap of chopped up vegetable with a salad dressing.

We decided to go and have a drink at the fabulous Art Nouveau Hotel the Metropol . Great service and a pleasant change from the NO service at our hotel. It cost a bit more but it was worth the experience. Robyn has lost her phone and is busy sorting it all out so she and Bede didn't join us. She has probably buried it in her case.

Suzanne and I shared a sandwich while we emailed at the hotel next door, Peter1 . There was an elderly chap playing the piano so it was hard to leave especially as it is still light at 11 pm!

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