Date: 9 July 2017
Location: Viking Akun moored in Moscow
We had another great breakfast. Wosog tried the French toast, and I had eggs Benedict. We were going on an excursion to the Tretyakov Gallery. The weather still dull but slightly warmer and hopefully less wet than yesterday!
The Tretyakov Gallery was excellent. The local guide, whose name I can’t remember, was extremely knowledgeable and pointed out a lot of the pictures regarded as highlights in the leaflet we were given on entry. We decided to buy a guide book, which should make identification easier when we process the pictures at home. We were so pleased that they allowed us to take as many photographs as we wanted, as long as we didn’t use flash. Favourite pictures from the gallery for me included the enormous “The Apparition of Christ to the People” by Ivanov, which took 21 years to paint, and is actually not quite finished! I also really like “Rainbow” by Ayvazovsky. Kramskoy’s “Portrait of an Unknown Woman” is brilliant too. A lot of social commentary regarding the time is portrayed in the works of Pukirev, including “The Unequal Marriage”. The story behind the inclusion of the bear family in Shiskin’s “The Morning in a Pine Forrest” was told in quite a funny way. I’m sure our appreciation of the gallery was really enhanced by the guide’s comments.
We returned to the boat around 13.00 in time for a pleasant light lunch. We got chatting to a couple from Essex, who were obviously quite well travelled. We eventually started talking about the Grenfell Tower fire. The chap from Essex said he reckoned the government would try and cover up what really happened.
After a couple of cocktails chatting to a couple from the US, we had another lovely dinner chatting to another couple from the US. The husband of the couple turned out to be an intern from a rural area specialising in terminal care. They had been on the monastery trip. The architecture was impressive, but the weather had been very wet. It doesn’t sound as if the food was very good either—though probably quite authentic!
We went on the Moscow by Night Tour at 21.00. We first of all went to Red Square to see GUM and St Basil’s Cathedral lit up. We then went on a boat along the canal taking probably very shaky pictures of various local landmarks, including the enormous monument of Peter the Great. We finally went to Sparrow Hill to look at a panoramic view of the city. All very enjoyable. Got back to the boat around midnight.