Russia and beyond 2013 travel blog

The Cathedral has had a difficult history. Built in 1812 to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon the church was inaugurated in 1860 and displayed many of the countries masters in their various fields. In 1931 Slarlin decided the sight would be suitable for a Palace of the Soviets and razed the building. As the ground was marshy it was not build but a swimming pool was build during the Krushchev period. When Soviet rule ceased permission was sought to build the present building which commenced in 1994. It is very new looking but spectacular. It feels like a Concert Hall with lifts and modern fitting. Il noticed a leak in the roof when we went up to hear the bells and admire the view from the top of the building. Wonderful views of the city but the bells were defeafening.

We went to a wonderful Georgian restaurant for lunch. Delicious food. Very spicy main course but have no idea what it was. Lamb casserole but very good. We also had a delicious cheesy bread. Yum. Pity about the waistline. I'll have to swim when I can to stretch out a bit.

The Puskin Museum was great. We were guided by Julia who is excellent and really knows her art but at time I would loved to be able to go off on my own and at my own speed. Fabulous classical antiquities and also Impressionist work. We had half and hour on our own and managed to see the Pre Raphelites at lightening speed. There was a fabulous William Morris tapestry which I was so disappointed not to be able to look at for longer. Great period of art.

We returned to our hotel and I went off exploring and found a trendy eats street full of people. I felt quite safe on my own as it was very light. There were heaps of police around which caught my eye and on my way home I realized why. I was stopped by the police as it tried to cross the road and then saw numerous security police and cars everywhere. A group of people got out and went into a very up market Brasserie next door to the Bolshoi. Many men and one beautifully dressed woman. Who knows who they were. I have never seen so many police cars and police both in uniform and plain clothes. The VIP's arrived in a black limo. Which tried to do a u turn in the narrow street which was quite comical but he did it eventually and the banked up traffic was allowed through.

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