Today was a long but fruitful day. The second (and final!) week of classes started with a bang as Russian 203 took survival (КРА) and mass media Russian (ЯСМИ) and Russian 303 took academic Russian (АТ) and ЯСМИ. Afterward it was revealed that our group would visit two exciting sites: the world-famous Bolshoi Theater (Большой Театр) and Cafe Pushkin (Кафе Пушкинь).
We first visited the Bolshoi Theater, a world-famous building in which some of the best ballets and operas are performed.
The building was designed by Joseph Bove and opened to eager audiences in 1825. The building is in Teatralnaya Square in the Tverskoy District of Moscow and is near a bustling theater district that holds the Pushkin Cafe. Notably, the Bolshoi Theater underwent a 21 billion ruble ($888 million) renovation in 2011, which at least partially accounts for the luster and acoustics of the place.
Although we saw no performances tonight, we were given an excellent tour in Russian and were able to visit various levels of the very tall building. We were able to sit on the first and seventh floors and watch the stage as lighting and stage crews collaborated in setting up equipment. We even saw the light levels of the stage and surrounding chandeliers adjusted. We also visited another smaller stage on the tenth floor and below ground level where actors, dancers, and musicians can practice. All in all, it was an enchanting experience!
We next took the opportunity to assuage our sweet teeth and grumbling stomachs when we visited the Pushkin Cafe.
We walked through the theater district to get there as the sky grew dark and the lights started flickering. In Russia it is still the holidays as the Russian Orthodox celebrate their holy days. Christmas (Рождество) was on January 7th and we still see many lit Christmas trees and lights on the street, which adds quite a nice affect to the snow accumulating outside. At the Pushkin Cafe is a vast assortment of desserts that would make any food lover’s mouth water.
The cafe’s hot chocolate tastes like molten dark chocolate and the macaroons are colorful and savory looking.
Desserts come from places in Europe ranging from Austria to France.
While the desserts are a bit pricey depending on what you order, they truly are a special experience and the atmosphere is wonderful.