The twentieth century art at the New Tretyakov Gallery blew me away. It’s sensational. Socialist realism masterpieces were the perfect end to twenty four hours of culture in the transformed city of Moscow, the heart of which is now tourist hell. Prior to my gallery visit the morning service at the reconstructed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was a magnificent performance with the three mains actors, The Church, the security services and political power working seamlessly together.
Contrast is a wonderful travel companion. On this journey through Russia she accompanied us constantly; such was the variety and intensity of our experiences. They just kept coming. It’s almost as if we visited three separate countries during three different time periods; provincial Russia, the traditional nomadic life of the Nenets and Moscow the gilded global capital.
Ski touring was of course the reason for our travels and the Ural Mountains delivered the goods. They’re neither high nor particularly accessible but there is a lot to choose from far from the Instagram trail. We had 2500km of mountains to ourselves and good skiing on every day. Privileged we indeed are.