Trip Start Apr 29, 2011
109Trip End Sep 03, 2011
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At the Hermitage, the crowds were gathering despite the torrential rain and we tried to discover which queue to join to purchase our tickets. Those with umbrellas queued outside whilst Louise and I tried our luck with the one automated ticket machine – all instructions in Russian but fortunately the polite and patient young girl behind us was Russian and helped us with the transaction. Armed with tickets, we dripped our way into the Hermitage. Now, about the Hermitage – I won’t dwell on its’ 3,000,000 contents, I will merely say GO THERE!!!! Here is a URL
Rather than describing the museum and its contents’ I will spend a paragraph on our reactions. Now I’m sure everyone is familiar with that feeling one gets when in a museum, one gets sated and tires and then the only thing that can get your attention is something out of the ordinary, everything else gets skipped. Well here we didn’t, as absolutely everything was extraordinary, the rooms , the sculptures, the paintings ( for instance 33 Picassos in one room!!!) and everything else
We managed to persuade a taxi to take all 5 of us (illegal) back to the hotel in time to refresh ourselves and for a bite to eat (more beer but not too much as we had a performance to watch), then another taxi to the theatre. Louise, bless her, was beside herself but it wasn’t long before the curtains were up and we were into the ballet – 'The Fountain of Bakhchisarai’ by Boris Asayev, dating from 1934 and based upon a poem by Pushkin, written between 1821 and 1823. The story was about a young Polish girl, Maria who had her whole family, including her fiancÚ,killed by a gang of marauding Tatars led by Khan Ghirei and who was taken back to his harem in the palace of Bakhchisarai. There, Khan Ghirei’s favourite wife Zarema, saw that the Khan was infatuated with his Polish captive. Eventually, she kills Maria, is executed herself and the story ends with the Khan, inconsolable, by the ‘Fountain of Tears’ built in memory of Maria. Great stuff, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience and completely exhausted, we walked back to the hotel for a reviving G&T – the girls ended up singing ‘Doh a deer, a female deer’ a 12:30 in their room but fortunately no neighbours complained!