* * *
After a couple of days I have settled in nicely. I feel like a bit of a recluse because when I come home we will talk for a while, but then we both just go to our rooms and do our own thing. I like it don't get me wrong, a was afraid that I was going to have a lack of privacy because I am in someone else's house, but that is not the case here at all. Olga is super sweet but it she seems that we are similar in the idea that we both like our down time. I told her I didn't want to seem like I was hiding but she insisted that everything was fine.
We have been going sight seeing around Pskov for a couple days and my first impressions are pretty good. We went on a walking tour of Pskov we saw many old parts of the city and a few war monuments of the city. I think the city is a good size it is much larger than I was expecting. I was thinking it was a little town but really its more of a little city. It is very beautiful. We had a guide and she spoke fantastic English, considering she was only ten year old. She was really impressive. She was able and confident and she just made the excursion that much more enjoyable. First, we went to the Kremlin which is a part of the walled city that Pskov used to be. There are remnants of the wall still about the city but the only place the Kremlin is where the cathedral still stands. The Trinity Cathedral is absolutely beautiful! We were able to go inside and just …. WOW. It is a Eastern Orthodox Church so women must wear a skirt and have something covering there heads and necks when they enter the church. When you enter the church the first thing you notice is the floor to ceiling display of Icons. Icons are paintings of the saints of the religion. They are just breath taking. There are no pews in the church but the furniture that is on the floor of the building is beautifully carved and there are places where you can light candles and pray to different icons for help.
First we saw a World War II made out of guns and cannons it was really neat. Then we walk to another memorial which is said to have bombs built right into it. We also saw a church that stood just outside the largest tower in Pskov. The tower is preserved on the inside but it was closed when we were there so we weren't able to go in. Finally, went to the Alexander Nevski Monument it was HUGE, it was also up on a hill and the view was quite amazing!
Last, we went to the Pskov museum where the Pagankiny Palaty, an old merchants home that was peculiarly built and was a very important part of the city's history. Now the house serves as a museum and hold many of Pskov original icons and those who go to school to learn how to maintain and repair the icons go here to practice. The building was also built in an interesting fashion the walls were two meters think and the ceilings were all arched giving the building larger feel. It was very impressive.
I think that my stay here will be great. I have missed Europe since I moved back to the states. It's hard for me to put into words the way being in another country makes me feel. I guess it might sound crazy but it is really exciting. It's like everyday is new because of the fact that I am in a new place and there is always something to discover, or something interesting to see. The atmosphere is different here. It's interesting to know that the world is out there and I can be apart of it. It is with in my reach, and I can feel it, I know that I can go as far as I want too.