Tuesday. Decent lie in and then on to red square. It’s absolutely gorgeous. St Basil’s Cathedral defies words and no picture can prepare you for the sheer colour of it. Onion dome upon onion dome of red, green, blue swirls and stripes dazzle the eye. But the true beauty is inside – a warren of chapels dedicated to individual holy people, each lavishly decorated with paintings stretching high up into the domes. Across the square however is the building that left me breathless – red brick towers and spires with white coloured roofs – it houses the State History Museum and with the Kremlin wall with its row of pine trees as backdrop looks just like Christmas. The boys went to Lenin’s mausoleum to see his embalmed body. I used the time wisely and enjoyed an hour of people watching over a latte in GUM, the department store used by the soviets to hand out rations. See Stef’s thoughts on Lenin here… http://somuchtoseesomuchtodo.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/lenin/

Wednesday. Kremlin. For some reason this most important Kremlin of Russia didn’t thrill me. Maybe it’s because of having to pay to enter or the atmosphere which was beaurocratic and serious where the other Kremlins we’ve visited have been free, relaxed, and nice to stroll around. The churches were very beautiful and the huge 200 tonne bell and 40 tonne canon were definately worth a look.

Thursday. Dinner this evening was a picnic of fine Russian fare – champagne, caviar, bread, cheese, pate and salad obtained from the breathtaking Yeliseevsky grocery store – the in the exquisite privacy of our own room. This was followed by an excellent performance of Swan Lake at the Nuova Opera theatre. Tickets were an absolute bargain at approx £10 each, and it was worth it for the music alone to which the orchestra did absolute justice. Tchaikovsky’s score is utterly beautiful but I was highly amused to hear the Lemmings soundtrack half way through! It was a wonderful evening made perfect by being able to shut the door on the world in our own private room. Luxury!

Photos right here…