11 June 1980

Petrodvorets palace, moose and watch

Morning at the Petrodvorets palace. The imperial-looking, majestic palace of the Tsars, reasonably well maintained, rubs sorely against all the current regimes stands for. But here it is, witness to history.

It is very hot! Even too hot, incredible as it may sound. it is an incredible complex of imperial palaces built by the Tsars, now a museum.

In the central fountain of the palace a moose is swimming around having fun! After repeated efforts, the guards manage to pull it out of the water, but he goes right back in. In the end they must turn off the fountains and lower some row boats in the fountain to get him out for good.

Andrew and I throw our American football around a bit. There is a larger than life statue of Lenin in a pensive, intellectual mood, sitting on a pedestal, and I sit next to him trying, with only limited success, to imitate his pose.

Soviet moose swimming

Trying to imitate Lenin's pose

In the evening, we have booked tickets for the opera, "la Traviata", but when we get to the theater there is no opera. The program has been changed and we are offered a mediocre ballet accompanied by recorded music. Disappointing.

I manage to buy a Soviet watch from the local "Raketa" factory. Pretty though not so reliable reputation. We'll see.

All is well that ends well however, and we splurge for another caviar and champagne dinner at the Moskva restaurant.

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