31 students and teachers have successfully braved the exciting (if slow) journey from the metropolis of Moscow to the ‘northern capital’ of Russia, St. Petersburg, sharing a comfortable, compact train carriage for the night.
Since arriving in the city students have received little respite; and have bustled through some of the most historic sights they could hope for under a pure blue sky. Imperial statues of Peter the Great have contrasted against the hulking bronze of Lenin, Rasputin’s controversial demise has been described in gruesome detail, and the cathedral that hosts the tombs of a multitude of tsars has been toured. Our eminently knowledgeable local guide Tatiana has proven an invaluable fount of contextual information that has greatly enhanced all of our understandings of the complex history of this giant country.
One of the biggest surprises of the last few days has to have been the quality of the food – expecting nothing more than brutalist fare, we have been treated to fantastic breakfasts, lunches and dinners – buffets of hot Russian delights from rabbit pies to blinis. The hotel in which we are now billeted is of the highest standard, and the boys are enjoying the finest of Russian TV before (we hope) getting a good night’s sleep in preparation for raiding one of the world’s premier art galleries tomorrow – The Hermitage.