time fliesJuly 7 in Russia ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C
We were confused since for the first time we had to be ready at 9am instead of 10am. But we managed and were picked up by a private driver and Marina (I asked 😊). The drive out of the city to the monastery was quick and we could visit that holy place for the orthodox believers. We laerned some more about religion, walked around and had lunch in a touristy russian restaurant that looked like a puppet house. First they had a table for three and one just for Marina so we asked to put the tables together, no way she would eat alone. And she didn’t want to, it isn’t like in Nepal, where the guides leave you alone for eating. So we had a long and interesting discussion about how politics work in Switzerland. She was amazed about the possibility we have as citizen and I realized again, how lucky I am. At some point she asked: And the result of the counting is correct? We Swiss have sometimes just no idea in which paradise we live in. When we told her that at the last vote of our district we had only 1/4 of the person who have the right to vote went indeed voting, I was almost a bit ashamed of us Swiss just not using our rights more.
On the way back to Moscow we had traffic jam since many were heading back to the city after a weekend at the dacha, which are little houses in the country side. Moscow is huge. It has almost 13mio people, roughly every 10th Russian is living here.
After saying our goodbyes to Marina we went visiting the Gulag Museum. Worth a visit. It is very well made, it starts with a exhibition of 16 original doors, some from prison, some from ministry buildings, some from citizens that were deported. It makes quite an impact. We learned a lot about those correction and forced labour camps that started under Lenin just after the Revolution in 1918 and had their peak under Stalin until the end of the fifties. That is just such a long time, I wasn’t aware of it. Some were convincted several times, some just after the revolution and then again some years later (if you survive the camp, there was in general a mortality of roughly 15%, at peaks up to 35%) but in the end, under Stalin, most of them were just convicted for 25 years. 25 years. Unbelievable the fear they had to live with next to all other difficulties they had during those hard time.Read more