Now that I'm back from my monumental Treasures of Two Capitals trip to Russia, I wanted to say my thanks and let you know what a spectacular success it was. Everybody who was supposed to show up to take us someplace was right there exactly on time or early. The excursions were a joy. Our drivers and guides were all very good, but we really lucked out in Moscow, where we had Liudmilla Korzhova as our guide, a smart, knowledgeable, patient, friendly lady and a great traveling companion.
I did make the mistake of over-scheduling myself, booking too many activities into a day and not accommodating time for lunch--and after a hard morning's sightseeing, a person needs lunch! So we had to curtail our excursions in a few places. I also realized that it would have been a poor use of our time to spend half a day in the car to go to Yasnaya Polyana, so we went to the Moscow Tolstoy Museum instead, which worked out fine. We were then able to squeeze in the Tretyakov too.
You warned me that people who took the Bolshoi Opera tour thought it was a waste of time and money, but I must urge you not to take their word for it. It's true that we didn't see the backstage or the prop storage area or where they make the sets and costumes; but we did get a full, informative tour of the building from top to bottom, sat in the empty theater and watched the stagehands set up for The Tsar's Bride, and even got to listen in to a rehearsal on the top floor! I suppose if you're not a full-out Russian opera freak you might find a program like that boring, but if you're not a full-out Russian opera freak, what are you doing taking this tour anyway? For me, it was was totally thrilling.
I could go on for many pages, but I'll end here and just say thanks again. Tell the next person you schedule a tour for that Nancy says you're gonna love it!
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