Sunday, December 2, 2012

Время с друзьями

I had such a fun weekend with everyone from the Bing Program!

This morning, we went to Bunker 42, a Cold War bunker 18 stories below street-level.  We could hear the Metro rattling by!

The tour was a funny mix of simulation and information.

One of the most interesting parts, in my opinion, was the film they presented at the beginning of the tour, which discussed the development of the Cold War.  Since we were in Russia, the film portrayed Russia's perspectives.  According to the amusingly translated voiceover, Nikita Kruschev removed the nuclear missiles from "Freedom Island" (Cuba) during the Cuban Missile Crisis because he realized that he did not have complete control.  The Kremlin did not give the orders to shoot down U.S. spy planes; that order was given by a military commander in Cuba.  For the Soviet Union, this was a bit of a "wake up call."  The Soviet Union did not have control over use of their military equipment, and by extension, nuclear weapons on "Freedom Island," so they were willing to negotiate for their removal.  Though I had studied the Cuban Missile Crisis before, this was a different version of history than the one I studied in school.

Overall, I loved our tour of the Bunker!  It was shorter than I expected, but included great insights into the Cold War mindset.

Later that evening, Kyle hosted a вечеринка at his home-stay.  We watched the cartoon Anastasia to celebrate the beginning of December in Russia!  "Once upon a December ..."

On Sunday morning, Annie, Kyle, Patrick, Stephanie, and I went to visit the Armoury Museum and Diamond Fund at the Kremlin.  Unfortunately, the Diamond Fund tickets sold out before we could purchase ours, so we only had the opportunity to visit the Armoury Museum.

The Armoury is my favorite museum in Moscow.  The collection, spanning from the 5th to the 20th century included treasures such as Ivan the Terrible's throne, faberge eggs, armor, stunning dresses, and magnificent carriages.  I absolutely adored the collection and was grateful for the free audio guide.  I can't wait to see the Diamond Fund!

Pictures of the Armoury are not allowed; they wouldn't do it justice anyway.  You'll just have to come to Moscow and see it for yourself!

After our Armoury visit, we went to Matt's house for afternoon tea.  Matt's симпатичHaя host mother baked a delicious assortment of savory pastries and cake.  Yum!  I love visiting other peoples' home stays and seeing how they are similar and different from my own.  (I failed at taking photos this weekend.  Sorry!)

I also finally finished my essay!

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