Monthly Archives: July 2013

Closing the Circle – From Saint Petersburg to Washington

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June 22 It didn’t take long this morning for me to realize that indeed our fellowship was reaching its end. Although we managed a few moments together in the common room it was clear that we were, to some degree, …

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The Hermitage, St. Isaac’s Colonnade, and a Midnight Boat Ride

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June 21 As our group walked through Saint Petersburg on a gloriously sunny morning yesterday, Mike told us of our good fortune. Fewer than one in five days in Saint Petersburg, he told us, are mostly sunny. During our three …

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White Nights and La Nozze Di Figaro

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June 20 – Evening Even on this penultimate day of our tour, our group remained closely bonded and wanted to eat together. And of course, we still wanted to eat Russian food. So, at the end of our three hour …

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In Which We Take a Walk Around Saint Petersburg

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June 20 For the second time in this journal I can use this phrase: This morning, it’s official. The scratchy throat and intermittent achiness of the past few days is a full fledged cold. Mark me down as victim number …

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A Bus Tour, Dostoevsky, and Shots on a Train

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June 19 One of the peculiarities of this trip had been what I have to describe as our oddly coordinated arrival and departure times with regard to checking into our hotels. Now, it may be that we are coming and …

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In Which Tolstoy Meets Fellini

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June 18 – Afternoon When I closed yesterday’s entry I promised to recount my afternoon with Erin traveling out to the Khamovniky area to see the house and garden where Count Leo Tolstoy frequently spent his winters in the 1880s and …

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In Which We Get a Peek Inside the Kremlin

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June 18 Today is off to a fairly easy start. We’re leaving the hotel around 08:00 to try to get a good spot in the queue to visit Lenin’s Tomb. The mausoleum opens at 10:00 but the line often forms …

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In Which We Arrive in Moscow and Erin and I See Dead People

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June 17 So, as I noted at the close of yesterday’s entry I slept fitfully last night. The truth is I was awake at 05:00 but wrote a bit and exited the cabin quietly in an effort not to disturb …

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Only 24 Hours on the Train – Piece of Cake or Was It

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June 16 Woo hoo! Another 24 hour train ride. However, rather than continuing on the Trans-Siberian we boarded the Trans-Ural. (Okay, I added the ‘Trans’ because I like the symmetry – Trans-Mongolian, Trans-Siberian, Ural – just plain Ural doesn’t work …

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Intermission

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Intermission It’s official. At some point between Irkutsk and Yekatrinburg the Siberian landscape became an “ooh-ahh”. Let me explain: When I was on safari in Kruger Park in South Africa last year, among the first animals we saw was a …

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