Christmas morning 2012

January 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Russians followed the orthodox calendar so many if all shops and museums were open on Christmas day.  It was recommended to us by our concierge to try the Singer Cafe http://singercafe.ru/ opposite of Kazan Cathedral.  The cafe offered American style breakfast which Reid quickly decided upon while the rest of us had Blinis, smoked Salmon and eggs.   The food was good and satisfying…I was originally worried about what the kids would eat but so far on this trip everything has been delicious and easy to find something kid friendly.

Once again we tried the Spilt Blood Cathedral.  The name alone makes you want to go and see it and it is a beautiful Cathedral.  This time we took our hats off before entering and it was more pleasant than at the Kazan Cathedral.   The work in this Cathedral was overwhelming that my son who is 9 years old was also very interested in the work.  He was taken my the story and how it was depicted here.

The subway I heard is quite impressive so we decided to use it to see the Artillery Museum and the Peter and Paul Fortress.   Seems like everyone uses the Metro here – everyone except the cyclists which we saw many along the way…even a unicyclist.   Maybe he was practicing for the circus.   The Artillery Museum was closed…bad luck but the Fortress was open for us to visit.  The weather was coming down on us steadily so we decided only to visit the Cathedral where the Czars are buried.  Fortunately or unfortunately depending how you see it, parts of it was under restoration which for us was interesting for the kids to see how demanding it is to upkeep these beautiful monuments.   Interesting enough, there were also many Mandarin speaking visitors and Claire would sneak up and try to listen in Mandarin about the history of the Cathedral.   The kids enjoyed this Cathedral more and I suppose it was because of the Czars and the restoration work taking place.

After the Cathedral, we wanted to see the Hermitage http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/02/hm2_0.html but it’s location was not close to the Metro but we could see it where we were standing.  We could touch it….it was just opposite of the fortress but on the opposite side of the Neva River.  We tucked in our neck warmers and decided to brave the weather.  The walk wasn’t as bad as we thought and the walk was quite pleasant.

The Hermitage was definitely, a good choice for the kids…we thought it would be dry but the kids loved it.  Though fairly strict, the overall feel of the museum was friendlier and they like the exhibits better.  We were able to find things that both children enjoyed to look at.  Had we known, we would have come earlier for a diamond exhibition which Claire had requested.

The snow was magnificent outside and though cold, we walked back to our hotel for a formal dinner at the Davidov.   The dinner was simple and elegant and not too drawn out for the kids.  They were very good at accommodating us with a smaller version of the dinner for the kids.

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