For a week in February 25 students traded a week of Latymer life for life in Moscow- Russia’s capital. Staying with Russian families, we were fully immersed in Russian culture, language and (of course) food. From the get-go, it became apparent that our arrival had not only brought keen Latymer pupils to the city but also a whopping 38cm of snow, breaking the 1957 record and later being coined ‘snowfall of the century’! And so we layered on our thermals and braved the harsh Russian winter, with temperatures reaching as low as -17C degrees. The weather conditions paired with the Christmas market in the Red Square next to the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral created a magical winter wonderland simply unimaginable back home. Since one week could never be long enough to explore a city bigger than London, we had a bus tour to showcase some of the main sights the city has to offer, including Sparrow Hills and Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. We ventured up the Ostankino TV tower, viewed paintings at Tretyakov Gallery and looked at some of the world’s most precious gems in the Kremlin. While travelling between these places we got to see underground stations decorated with an array of mosaics and statues which resembled palace interiors. On the social side, having exchange partners also meant we got to go to lessons at a Russian school and even played them in a volleyball match, but let’s just say we weren’t keeping score. Evenings were spent in conversation with families or out exploring. All this aside, a trip to Russia would not be complete without ballet and having toured the Bolshoi Theatre (so big that the name itself means ‘big’), we went to see the incredible Russian ballet ‘Swan Lake’ performed at the Kremlin Theatre. Spectacular doesn’t even begin to describe it, and the same goes for the trip as a whole- though it was definitely over too soon!
On behalf of all students on the trip we would like to thank Mrs Heath, Ms Altseva and Mrs Cobbett for their efforts to make the trip run as smoothly as possible, but also for making it such an enjoyable week.
Abigail Tegene 13VOV and Stephen Spencer 13MAG