I think that there’s something about TourMagination that is very special, and it’s the way that it creates moving communities. It’s happened before (and I’m delighted to see that Donna is one of many past fellow-travelers who is following this blog) and it has happened on this trip.
We had a great morning, as some went to see Lenin (!) in the Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square while most went to see the splendour of Russian art in the Tretyakov Gallery. It was clear that art was never merely “nice drawings”; it always says something profound about its time, and all the more so for Russian art. After that we viewed Christ the Saviour Cathedral, and that included a chance to see the tremendous vantage points from the top of this giant structure. There is no better view of Red Square, and in honour of “Christ the Savior” we had already read that stirring passage from Colossians to start our day.
After that a brief visit to the ancient Novodevichy Cemetery where we focused on the graves, and life stories, of Stalin’s second wife, and also Khrushchev, Raisa Gorbachev, and Boris Yeltsin. That’s already a lot, and some headed for the hotel while others stopped at the famed pedestrian mall, the Arbat, for a bit of last minute shopping. We went home via the Metro (subway) and it is great to see how keen members of this group have been to hit the streets… there’s an independent streak here and it’s great!
We know that we’d be Up Late, Up Early, but still we decided to take the Metro to Red Square one last time after supper. One last time to see the square sparkle in the dark, watch the Kremlin Walls, St. Basil’s, and even to walk out onto the river and to look back. It was all glorious. What a way to end our time here.
We’ll be up 4ish tomorrow for a long day of transitions to Zaporozhzhye, but that city and the Mennonite story that awaits us is reason enough to get going.
In short, Russia is almost at an end for this trip, and what a success it has been.
— Leonard Friesen