Monday, September 29, 2014


We're getting into the last of the beautiful fall days here in Moscow - everywhere I go people are betting on the "first snow day." I already dread taking the dog out in the morning, but then again, the cold air definitely wakes me up faster than my usual cup of coffee.

This past weekend we took the kids to Novodevichy Monastery and Cemetery, one of the most beautiful places in all of Moscow. Founded in the 1500s, the Monastery is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Back in the day, Russian rulers like Peter the Great used to send their wives and sisters there when they got uppity; the women were forced to take religious vows and had to stay there forever (sort of like Rapunzel, one of the girls noted).

Just outside the monastery is the cemetery. Anybody who is (or was) anybody in Russia is buried there: famous artists and musicians; writers (Chekov, Bulgakov); WWII heroes; politicians (Yeltsin, Kruschev). I love this cemetery. All of the graves are unique, the grounds are beautiful. There's no way this place isn't haunted, though. There is one tombstone I remember, but I couldn't find it this time around and I can't remember whose it is - it's just a giant hand reaching out from the grave. Very cool. Very spooky.

We're still taking pictures with the camera on my phone, so these pictures don't really do the place justice. If you ever make it to Moscow, you need to spend some time here, to see it for yourself.

On the monastery grounds...

The kids loved this burial plot because it "looks like Yogi." To be sure, it's a pretty big statue.

Final resting place of a WWII hero.

This gentleman was a "pilot/cosmonaut."

Back on the grounds of the Monastery, which also feels haunted to me.
The leaves are changing...


Emily Stepheson said... [Reply]

Hi, I've been reading your blog since I found a link to it in the comments section of a parenting article on potty training. I don't know how many years it has been, but you were in Beijing at the time. Anyway, now you are in Moscow. My son is living in Irkutsk at the moment. I have a few questions that I would be super grateful if you could answer.

Donna said... [Reply]

@Emily Stepheson Let me know what your questions are and I'll see if I can help. Or leave your email address here so I can contact you. Irkutsk - I was there once in the wintertime, a lifetime ago. He's in for some cold weather soon!

Emily Stepheson said... [Reply]

Yes, he says it is getting cold already. He just bought a big, fluffy coat.
My email is jetnmstep@yahoo .com. Thank you!

Please. Write your own stuff.