Sixth form students visit the iconic St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow during their trip to Russia over the Easter break.
Moscow by Zoe Cooper, Emma Knight, Dara Fallon and Amy Erentz (Y13)
On touching down in Moscow (and after finding Dara's misplaced passport) we were faced with the sight of snow, snow and more snow. We travelled from the Moscow countryside into the centre of the city where we sampled our first taste of Russian food. At this point, we had no idea how much broth we would have to consume. Our first full day in Russia began with a tour and ride of the Moscow Metro. The underground stations were all exquisitely decorated with chandeliers and Stalinist propaganda. We then went to the Moscow State University where we met current students. In the evening we all looked forward to a westernised meal at Hard Rock Café (Mr Howse promised us chips), but instead we got some more broth.
The next day we visited Red Square, the Kremlin, St Basil's Cathedral, and saw the changing of the guards at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Armoury Museum inside the Kremlin was a highlight due to the vast historic collections which provided an insight into Russia's past.
Unfortunately Lenin's Mausoleum was flooded so we could not see him on this year's trip. That evening we all went bowling with varying degrees of success. After a long day of visiting historical sites we were all ready to catch the overnight train to St Petersburg, however, when we got to the train station the booking was incorrect. All the teachers remained very calm and we quickly retreated back to a comfortable Holiday Inn for a good night's sleep. The next day in Moscow, although unplanned, was one of the best of the trip. We went to a shopping centre where we saw giant Russian dolls, which were amazing. In the evening, we saw the strangest show of our lives, which featured acrobatic dancing cats and dogs and ice skating; the equivalent of 'Russia's Got Talent'. We then headed for the station for the second time, and said good- bye to our tour guide Helena; then caught the sleeper train to St Petersburg to begin the second leg of our Russian trip. Overall we all had a great time, thank you so much to Mrs Jenkins and all the other teachers who came; it really was a great trip.
St Petersburg by James Chaplain, Danny McGregor and George Alexander (Yr 12)
We awoke on Wednesday 3rd April, with a smile on our face and a Russian in our cabin, who had the kindness to pour us morning refreshment; unfortunately the quality of the coffee matched the quality of his English. After meeting the glorious Julia, we traversed the city for a local breakfast establishment, driven by Eugene in his Ray Bans, whose cool exterior matched the cool Baltic frost. The traditional Russian diner was homely and prepared us for the day ahead. We were then whisked away to the Winter Palace, home to the Tsars and the Great Revolution. It plays host to the works of reputable artists, such as Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Picasso and Monet, to name but a few, all of which were exquisite. After having refreshed ourselves at our hotel, we embarked on a city tour,
narrated by Julia. St Petersburg was strikingly different from Moscow, due to the distinctly European feel and the subsidiary nature of the soil, which leads to the sinking of the buildings.
The notion of being audience to a traditional Russian Folk show was not one that was initially appealing, however it soon became obvious that our faith in Julia was to be rewarded – in the form of fighting men and beautiful women. Clearly Ryan was inspired by the showmanship witnessed that evening, exhibiting both his skill in the field of magic through his card tricks and his skill in the field of love as he bravely attempted to woo the considerably unattainable year 13s.
The next and final day included a visit to the monumental Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, the final resting place of a number of Russian Tsars. This was followed by a chance to pay our respects to the great number of men, women and children who lost their lives during the siege of Leningrad in 1941 at the moving war memorial. Our final experience on Russian soil encompassed the impromptu acquisition of pizza in order to return to the coach on time; despite our haste Mr Smith and Mr Howse saw no reason to hurry seemingly confident that we would not leave without them.
The experience as a whole left all 43 of us touched by the historical depth and keener understanding of Russian culture that the trip offered us. The sincere thanks of everyone to Ms Jenkins and the other teachers must once again be echoed here, as without their tireless efforts and patience with Ryan Bancroft, the trip would not have been the experience that it was.