Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today the ladies went for a little outing. Today was the only Saturday we had for a ladies only, child-free excursion. Of the weekends remaining the D parents will be gone for two Saturdays and then on the last Saturday we're going back to Vyborg.

Today we took the bus to the metro from one station to another where we changed lines and went one more stop over to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery burial grounds. It was another grey drizzly day, and soon after we reached the cemetery my camera battery went out. There was a lot construction around the monastery buildings. We didn't go in the church, but we still were able to observe the definite culture of religious orthodoxy. There were people crossing themselves and bowing towards the church, and icons for sale outside. It made me think of my Catholic friends back home.

We ended up having to pay 200 Rubles($6ish) each to get in to the cemetery, most of which was walled off. The section to the left of the street(above) was crowded with stones, while the section to the right was more like a fancy park to walk through. That's where the artsy people were buried.

The markers were varied shapes, sizes and colors. It was really hard to read even the dates on them, because of the fancy scripts. The words were impossible, being all in Russian. I'm learning the alphabet but that doesn't help much when words don't translate into english words(which some do, like "restaurant" "produce" and souvenir").

There were quite a few Dr. Who jokes, which I did not participate in, and several goofy mourning pictures were taken before we moved on the the more serious side to get particular photos of markers for famous people.
By a grave on the crowded side.

Friend H was on a mission to get photos at the graves of Dostoevsky, Risky-Korsokov, and Tchaikovsky. You should know I was unable to spell any of those names without spell-check. We held out for Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky, but by Risky-Korsokov we were all hungry and footsore.

We walked back to the metro and went to Nevsky Prospect, the one street we know well, having walked ALL OVER it already in the past few days. Nevsky is the main street from the apartment to the Hermitage, and it's full of fancy shops, malls and restaurants. We had lunch at a Russian fast-food place where the main course was crepes with different fillings. Then, having spent our bus fare on the cemetery entrance fee, we walked home.

 This is me at Tchaikovsky's gravesite.

 We had another interesting interlude this evening. Dog Evil(who got into the bedroom this afternoon and ate the beeswax bars I brought for gifts) was tied up outside for a little fresh air, and two drunk men decided to use him as a sort of bribe to gain money from "the Americans" for the return of the dog. They stayed outside our apartment door for some tense twenty minutes, with Miss L translating and Mr. D guarding the front, with Friend H and Mrs. D blockading behind the door and everyone else in the back bedroom. They made some vague threats, made an effort to get in, and finally left with 150 Rubles. Whew. I'm glad Mr. D was here, and I'm hoping this confrontation with drunk men won't be a weekly occurrence.