We spent the morning shopping for souvenirs at Izmaylovo market where we had some lovely hot mulled wine and chicken kebab for lunch. We then visited the small Vodka museum and fake wooden Kremlin right next to the market.
Here we had the opportunity to get acquainted with the centuries-long history of Russian vodka, from its invention to the present day. In the museum exhibition we saw the first distillation unit, by means of which burning wine was produced in the XVth century. We also read about the secrets of the vodka production process as well as the main ingredients of the Russian national drink.
During our visit to the museum we also read the captivating story of the role vodka has played in the history of Russian civilization and how it could have influenced the course of important historical events in Russian history. Vodka played a vital part in the realization of Tsar Peter’s reforms. Yet vodka served as reason for Russia’s defeats in several major battles.
The museum can justly be proud of its collection of over 600 exhibits: various brands of vodka, XVIIIth century vodka recipes, vodka posters, vodka labels and vodka bottles of different sizes and styles.
I bought myself a Matrioshka bottle of Vodka here.
The shot of vodka we were given at the end of the tour helped brave us against the cold again. It was -3 degrees outside but we were all wrapped up in our winter clothes and ready for a walk in the cold.
We went for a walk through Izmaylovo Park up to the Cathedral of the Protection of the Virgin (1671-1679). During the Soviet period the church had been closed and the most valuable icons have disappeared. But the Cathedral opened again in 1990 and is today it is a working church.
This Cathedral is absolutely beautiful and as it was a Sunday they were having a church service so we stood around listening to the choir for a while.
Last on the list was visiting Lenin’s mausoleum and seeing Juri Gregerins grave. We had a last walk through the Red Square, pancakes at the coffee house and then they had to head off to the airport.
Was great having them visiting and had loads of fun showing them Moscow and being a part of their Russian adventure.