The 6.2 tour to Russia, seems, on paper, a short visit of six days – but the content and variety of places visited meant that the students experienced a huge amount.
A select group of 23 historians and Russian language students led by Nick Meigh, Annabel Smith and Frances Vigars set off for Moscow on 26 March. The focus of the visit was naturally historical, and the group visited many of the sites of revolutionary Russia. Perhaps the highlight of this city was the visit to the Kremlin, here the group not only trod the usual tourist trail, but also had the privilege of visiting parts of the Grand Palace that are usually off limits.
We were treated to a private tour of the oldest surviving 15th century parts of the original fortress and the lavishly restored state rooms. We travelled by overnight train to the imperial capital, St Petersburg, where we experienced the artistic riches of Russia in the State Hermitage Museum while also remembering the role of the city in the revolution with a visit to the apartment of Kirov.
A favourite venue of St Petersburg is the sumptuous Yusopov Palace, infamous now for being the place in which Rasputin was murdered. The group experienced the full range of Russian culture in the evenings, from an evening of curling, watching dancing elephants in the Moscow Circus to attending a production of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at Catherine the Great’s Hermitage Theatre in St Petersburg.
By Nick Meigh, Teacher of History