Pictures to come soon!
After the museum we went to the The Church on Spilled Blood. This is the church where Czar Alexander III built a church to memorialize the assassination of his father Alexander II. He was killed by a bomb thrown into his carriage in the church a canopy that stands over the very spot on the actual road where The Czar's blood was spilled. You can look upon the very spot where the man died. It's kinda spooky! The church is absolutely amazing! When I say mosaics from floor to ceiling I literally mean from the floor of one side of the church to the floor on the other side of the church. Again, no picture could make my breath catch the way it did when I walked into the church! Its just so amazing... the bright colors and the shiny metals... it so spectacular! It really gives you great pause, so far this was my favorite site!
While we were waiting for a one of our groups members, I decided that I wanted to get a picture or two with Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Man, did I getting taken for all I was worth. LOL. I asked how much the pictures were and they said it was 200 rubles a picture and I was like okay that's like $6, not so bad. Well soon the man was like you need this picture... this picture and this picture.... I was like Okay sure two or three, when am I ever going to do this a again right? I tried to pull away and he was like one more! AHHH! It ended up being five pictures for 1000 rubles (so like $30 bucks), man what a racket! In the end I was like YOLO right? Plus, it was a fun experience. Also, as we were walking we ran into some more photographers but these weren't wearing costumes they had a monkey and a raccoon, I got to hold them and they offered so kindly to take my photo … for a small price, so $15 bucks later.... these were definitely worth it! My favorite pictures so far! I had such a great time even through it emptied my wallet a little bit.
After the being hustled, we walked some more... to dinner at a Restaurant called the Vodka Museum. The food here was great!! I had beef stroganoff it was terrific! Unfortunately, we didn't have time to go into the museum...next time! After dinner we walked down the street to yet ANOTHER palace to see the Folk Show. I really like the show. The costumes were fabulous and the music was really upbeat and joyful. It was just as it said... a folk show. The dances and were music were the traditional dances of Russia and it was fun and exciting to watch the performers do the dances and listen to the music. I could just imagine being in an old world tavern and listening to the local musician play, while the the towns people dance around. Even our own Edward got to join the fun. He was selected to dance with one of the performers and she was a saucy lady! She left him with a big red kiss on he check. The performance demonstrated, yet again, the lengths Russians will go to to keep their history alive! Its really fascinating and exciting for me. I think I would have been just as happy to have been an anthropologist, so I could explore new cultures for a living! It also caused me to think about American culture. What is it? American culture is so young, it is very shallow. By that I mean that we don't have a history rich with as much dance and song and stories and those we do have are quickly fading. Country music and dance are very American, I would say, and many great folktales a came out of the settlement of the West, but the history still doesn't reach back as far as the rest of the world goes (this is also not accounting for Native American Histories and culture, which in truth was all but snuffed out by the “settlement” of the US). Being here makes me wonder if there is a rich and truly “American culture” to find or is it lost in the combination of so many other cultures that strive to be individual parts of the great “American Dream?” Will America just end up the place of settlement for many people from so many different cultures?