Russian Quilting Bee and Shopping Spree

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Day 1 – ST.PETERSBURG

Afternoon arrival in St. Petersburg. Transfer to Hotel Andersen, check in. Introduction to this beautiful city by bus. The tour will take you to Kazan Cathedral, the Admiralty, Fontanka, Canal Griboyedova, the Palace Square, Winter Palace, Summer Gardens and other remarkable buildings. Dinner followed by an energetic folk performance by the Nevsky Folk Ensemble.

Day 2 – ST.PETERSBURG

Visit the Transfiguration Church, to see, but especially to hear, part of the Orthodox Liturgy, then spend the rest of the morning being dazzled by the collection in the legendary Hermitage Museum. After Lunch discover more impressive sights in this “Venice of the North.” You will see the elegant buildings on the Nevsky Prospect along the Neva River and charming canals and narrow streets that might remind you of the best European traditions. Time for shopping. Dinner in Tschaikovsky Restaurant with tea drinking ceremony.

Day 3 – ST.PERTERSBURG-PUSHKIN

After breakfast buffet, depart for the town of Pushkin, where we visit the magnificent Catherine Palace, summer residence of the Russian czars and home of the famous, newly restored Amber Room. Designed by the Italian architect Rastrelli, Pushkin’s palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. Lunch in Pushkin. Return to St. Petersburg, free time on Nevsky Prospekt. Optional ballet or concert performance.

Day 4 – ST.PETERSBURG-OVERNIGHT TRAIN TO IVANOVO

Load luggage onto the bus, then visit historic Yusupov Palace complete with Rasputin murder museum. Free time at the flea market and lunch on your own. At 15:30 we proceed to the train station to board the overnight train to Ivanovo. Dinner on the train.

Day 5 – IVANOVO

Breakfast in hotel. Visit the Museum of Ivanovo Fabrics. Ivanovo was for three centuries the Manchester of Russia and known for its beautiful cotton fabrics and designs. After lunch we meet with the “Russian Style Club”, the quilters of Ivanovo. You can become acquainted with them and their creations. Dinner in a restaurant near the hotel.

Day 6 – IVANOVO

Morning shopping spree to look for “national treasures”: fabrics, batik scarves, lacquer boxes and jewelry. After lunch meet for a “working session” with quilters. Alternate plan for husbands and accompanying friends. After the session you will go to homes, in twos and threes, with the quilters for dinner and to spend the evening with their families.

Day 7 – IVANOVO-SUZDAL-MOSCOW

Travel by bus back to Moscow. A delightful stop for lunch is planned at the Intercession Convent in Suzdal. This town was a major religious and cultural center already in the twelfth century. After arrival in Moscow, we proceed to the Izmailovo Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 8 – MOSCOW

Breakfast buffet. Time to visit Moscow’s flea market, renowned for its folk art and its folks. Lunch on your own. 16.00 Further exploration by bus of this fascinating city to see Kazan Cathedral, the Place of Skulls, the elegant arcades of the GUM department store, the National Historical Museum and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Dinner downtown. Optional ballet or circus performance in the evening.

Day 9 – MOSCOW

Breakfast buffet. Load the bus and depart to spend the morning in the Kremlin, Moscow’s fortress and the city’s birthplace in 1147, covering 69 acres. The main landmarks are three Cathedrals of the Assumption, Annunciation and Archangel , dated back to the 15-16th centuries. The Armory is famous for its stunning collection of treasures accumulated over the centuries by the Russian State and Church. The collection is known for its royal regalia, Faberge Easter eggs, the 800-diamond throne of Tsar Alexey, the jewel-studded and sable-trimmed gold Cap of Monomakh worn for coronations for two centuries, the coronation dresses of the 18th century empresses, the sleigh in which Elizabeth rode from St. Petersburg to Moscow for her coronation pulled by 23. In the middle of it all is, of course, the Great Kremlin Palace – the official residence of the Russian president. Transfer from here directly to Sheremetevo Airport for the flight home.

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