Friday, October 23, 2015

From Russia With Love, Part 7

After our cold walk, the next day was supposed to be a free day on our own in Moscow.  However, we felt we'd seen enough of Red Square and GUM, so we opted to take an optional tour (for extra cost) of the Tretyakov Gallery, figuring a warm bus ride plus an indoor tour were worth 44 euros each.  I thought it was one of the best museum tours we had!  The Tretyakov Gallery is a collection by Russian artists, and the guide was our best guide of the trip.  He explained a lot about icons, which we had seen in museums and cathedrals all throughout our tour, and also explained what was going on when the paintings were done.  It was a great tour, and there were several gift shops where Stan was happy to find a print that he had had hanging up at home until it got faded by the sun coming in.

On the left is a very early icon that is a mosaic.  On the right, a painting our guide didn't highlight, but I liked the colors and style - I thought it looked a bit like a quilt.

This painting is Morning in a Pine Forest.  Our guide explained it was painted by Ivan Shishkin as a landscape.  Then his friend, Konstantin Savitsky, added the bears, saying the painting needed something more than just the forest.  Wikipedia says gallery owner Tretyakov removed the signature of Savitsky so the painting is attributed just to Shishkin.  This is a very popular painting in Russia.  All the school children know it because it was used on a package of chocolates.

Our photos of the art in this gallery didn't capture how great it was.  I think we were more interested in just listening to the guide.   Stan did get these photos of school children who were touring also.  Don't they look great in their uniforms?  I don't know whether this was a public school or private.

That afternoon, Stan and I set out by ourselves to find an 'аптека', pronounced apteka, or pharmacy.  I had finally succumbed to the cold and sore throat that was going around the ship, and I wanted something like Theraflu to get me through the night.  There was a nice shopping center a short walk from the pier and we enjoyed looking around in a non-souvenir shop setting.  In addition to some packets like Theraflu and some aspirin, we also bought a hat for Stan and a silver chain for an amber pendant I had bought for my daughter-in-law Alethea's birthday.  It was fun to get out on our own and interact with some shopkeepers who spoke very little English.

On our walk we had to get to the other side of a very wide busy street, and we were very glad of an underground tunnel.  Besides being safe, it was some protection from the weather for a short while.  We found the same thing a few days later near our hotel in downtown Moscow, and felt it makes walking in the city a lot safer.

The food court looked just like ours at home.  This booth is selling sushi.

And of course, this looked the same as at home  : )

You can see why Stan needed a hat!  We were woefully under-dressed for the weather.

That evening we had our last meal on the ship, beef tenderloin and chocolate mousse - we would sure miss those lovely meals and great service!  The next morning Stan's friend, Sasha, and his wife and daughter would pick us up early for a day at their dacha before taking us to our 2-day extension of our tour at a hotel. 

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