Day 1, Friday 29th July 2011
Our holiday started by visiting The State Tretyakov Gallery, the national museum of Russian fine art.
First glimpse of Red Square
Trees with love padlocks on a bridge
Inside the beautiful cathedral
The Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon on display in the Kremlin grounds.
The Assumption Cathedral, site of coronation of Russian tsars.
We then went to the hotel for a quick shower and dinner. Afterwards we went to a dance show, at the Cosmos hotel, in which I have to say I've slept through most of it as I was exhausted. Late at night we had a stroll around the streets near our hotel as it was such a pleasant evening. We encountered the first waiter, who spoke english and was very nice and helpful. We had cocktails and a fruit salad.
The day started by going a bit outside of Moscow to visit the Holy Trinity Lavra in Sergiyev Posad. It is the most important monastery in Russia and the spiritual centre of Russian Orthodox Christianity.
We returned to Moscow centre where we stopped at Arbat street. We had lunch at Moo Moo restaurant. Not that much impressed as I ordered blindly since the food was not labelled in english.
We had a short stop to visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. I think pictures were not allowed inside or I was too lazy to take any. Anyhow it is a beautiful cathedral and it is the tallest Orthodox Church in the world.
Back to the hotel for a shower and dinner. We went to the circus and afterwards we toured Moscow by night. This part was my favourite part of the holiday as it was such an nice and warm evening and the city is breathtakingly beautiful at night. We ended the evening at about 2.00am with champagne and russian chocolates opposite the Kremlin walls alongside the Moscow river.
A little anecdote, while having champagne there was a group of teenagers and one of them approached me as he wanted to exchange a coin. He gave me a 10 rouble coin and I gave him a 20euro cent coin and then he asked for a hug.
Day 3, Sunday 31st July 2011
Our day started with a metro tour. Unfortunately, we haven't seen much as our tour leader got lost. All signs are in Russian so it is very easy to get lost. I only took a couple of pictures as it was so very hot and I couldn't bother to take my camera out.
We returned to the hotel to pack our bags and went to the railway station to catch the train to Saint Petersburg.
We arrived in Saint Petersburg at around 6.30pm. After dinner we went out for an orientation walk around our hotel. This church was closest to our hotel, which unfortunately it was quite far away from the city centre.
This is Saint Nicholas Cathedral
Day 4, Monday 1st August 2011
We woke up to a very cold and dull day. I was not happy at all because it was so cold it felt like November in Malta. I only packed two light sweaters, so I was ill prepared for the cold.
Our first stop was to visit the monument of Nicholas in Isaakievskaya Square.
Afterwards we visited Peter and Paul Fortress, in which there is Peter and Paul's cathedral, which is the burial place of Russian Emperors.
The church is surrounded by these lovely gates