Day 13: One Final Day in Moscow – Conservatory Visit & Heart Warming Final Concert!

One final day in Moscow After battling traffic this morning we finally got to the Moscow Conservatory. What an incredible building filled with character and history. As we waited to be let in we could hear students practicing from their practice rooms.What beautiful sounds coming out from their open windows. The Moscow Conservatory is also officially known as the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in music performance and music research. It was co-founded in 1866 by Nikolai Rubinstein and Prince Nikolai Troubetzkoy. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was appointed professor of theory and harmony at its opening….

Day 12: Magnificent Day in Moscow & Triple Encore!

Czardas, Waltz No. 2 and Lady Gaga were our three encores tonight! The kids were fantastic – especially after a long day on the road in Moscow. When we started playing the Waltz again during the encore people started clapping their appreciation for the kids in the middle of the song! It was so cool. I’m so proud of my students for their focus, effort and beauty! Bravo tonight to all – it was truly outstanding! During the day we got a guided tour of the Kremlin grounds. It was surprisingly beautiful. In fact breathtaking. Over the high walls I…

Day 11: A Day On The Town Moscow Style

Today we went to Sergiev Posad for a guided tour of the Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius.     “St. Sergius, the founder of the Holy Trinity, Lavra, was born of wealthy Rostov boyars on May 3, 1314. On the fortieth day the local priest baptized the child, naming him Bartholomew. From his childhood he grew accustomed to solitude and sought his salvation through prayer, fasting and work. In 1337, at the age of 23, after his parents’ death, he decided to leave for the desert together with his elder brother Stephen. The brothers chose to found their hermitage in…

Kyoto to Koya-san

Arriving in Himeji aboard the Shinkansen, we rented a fleet of bicycles and rode our way to Himeji Castle. The bike ride was rather eventful, as we followed a route that encircled the Castle grounds, on which both Trevor and Adah nearly killed a pair of elderly people. Adah was successful in landing a blow on her intended target, while Trevor missed by a hair and crashed into the sidewalk. The Himeji Castle excursion was a step back in time to the feudal era of Japan’s rich past. Several trees on the castle grounds were centuries old, to place it…

Day 10: A Long Day To Moscow

Arrived in Moscow! Today we traveled to Moscow by train. It took us 4 hours on the train. It was a good time to read, catch up on our journal writing, play games, hang with friends, eat and take a nap – which is what I did. It was glorious! 🙂 We met our guide Anastasia at the train station. She will be our main guide while we are in Moscow. Our bus driver here is interesting. He’s the first one we have encountered that refused to help us with our luggage. He said that he was hired to drive,…

Day 9: Spectacular Day & Concert in Pushkin & Enchanting Night in the “Venice of the North”

Another beautiful day in sunny Saint Petersburg. We lucked out with the weather these past few days……blue skies and warm weather. Olga, our tour guide says that they have a saying here about the weather – they have 9 months of “expectation” and 3 months of “disappointment”…. 🙂  Well, we certainly have been lucky and blessed with beautiful weather. On our way to Catherine’s Palace we were stopped by the police. They checked our paperwork and looked at our seat map and called out Stella’s name. He wanted to check to make sure that we were all sitting in the…

Day 8: City Tour, Hermitage & The Ballet

We have all fallen in love with Saint Petersburg. What a fantastic city full of culture and history. We left the hotel at 10am and our bus promptly stalled on a major road. What was impressive was that a new bus was called and within 30 minutes not only did we have a new bus and driver, but we had all the necessary paperwork for Russia’s strict rules to transport children in their country. It was lucky that we had those papers as the police did a random check on our bus while we were eating lunch today. Only in…