Russia and beyond 2013 travel blog

Leo Tolstoy's house was a short drive out of the city of Moscow in a quiet area surrounded with family homes. It is next door to a brewery but not sure if it still there now. It was a friendly home and many of their possessions were still there. Tolstoy had 13 children and nine who survived. The back garden was quite big and would have been a great place for children to run around. They skates on the large flat area near the house in winter. Upstairs there was a huge room where they entertained friends. The extensions can be seen outside and I'm sure would not be allowed in Australia. There was a huge fragrant shrub which we were told was Jasmine but quite different from what we have at home.

Lunch was at a restaurant called Turendot and it was quite a place. It once belonged to an aristocratic family and is now a reception venue. More glitz and gold and our meal was quite impressive, especially dessert which was quite a simple fruit mix but was served with dry ice in a glass with a pink fruit tea.

We then moved on to the Tretyakov Gallery. Julia's knowledge of art was staggering. The gallery had a fabulous collection of Russian art from the 20th and 21st century. The most interesting thing about the collection was the restraint that many artists were under during WW 11 and the Soviet period.

Next we had dinner. Not that we really needed it but dinner at the Hilton which is in one of Starlin's skyscrapers. Quite an impressive building and emormous inside.

Overnight on the train to Novgorod. It was an old train. Older than me I'm sure. Very basic but at least we could lie down. I hardly slept but it was ok. I shared with Jane. We we all exhausted the next day and another round of Russian Icons with our guide with a monotone voice was all too much.

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