On Sunday it was quite rainy in the morning so Jenna stayed in while I went out to explore the Museum of Cosmonautics. It was a great museum with all sorts of relics and models of the Russian space program. Yuri Gagarin's name was all over the place (for those ignorant of space history, he was the first man to orbit the Earth). You can see a picture of the monument to space exploration in my photo album on facebook. Later on in the ady it got nicer and Jenna and I met up with a Philadelphian who resides in Moscow (shoutout to Rebecca Reber!) and her friend Vasily for a tour of the Tretyakov State Museum. Since Vasily is a historian we had some interesting lessons on painters and sculptures. That night we dined in a really cool restaurant called FAQ Cafe which had good food, paper and pencil on the table for drawings, and tables near the ceiling for which you had to climb ladders!
Monday was equally as interesting and a bit more local in flavor. After spending the morning and early afternoon exploring Red Square and the Kremlin, we met up with one of the residents of Moishe House, Mityai, and he connected us with all sorts of his friends to spend time in Gorky Park and then we all went to dinner in a Ukrainian-themed restaurant. The highlight, though, was the bonfire we mae on a former boat dock in a residential neighborhood where we hung out and made sausages. Staying out until 1 in the morning would not have been possible without the help of the natives :)
Tuesday went by fairly quickly with packing and organizing ourselves. Mityai took us out again and we went to a few parks, including Victory Park which houses a mosque, church, and synagogue all commemorating what happened during World War II. Later on we explored some of the Jewish neighborhood and ended up dining at a restaurant on the roof of another synagogue! Quite amazing for one day. As night came, they all brought me to my train where Jenna and I parted ways. I was a little worried about visa issues leaving Russia but those worries were unfounded entirely. They followed my train for a bit and then I whisked off to sleep by the rolling of the train car.
I am now leaving Kiev for Budapest but will update you on the Kiev experiene soon. Fear not!