By: P. Esteves
Over the half-term, a group of teachers and pupils went on a history trip to Russia, visiting the capital city of Moscow and beautiful Saint Petersburg. Fortunately, I can say I was part of this group of extremely lucky individuals.
The trip was absolutely amazing. Not only did we get to experience the very abstract and interesting Russian culture, but we also learned about some of its fascinating history, especially as we were accompanied by a very knowledgeable guide and two very enthusiastic history teachers (Mrs Santana and Mr Kennedy). For instance, on our second day in Moscow, we had the pleasure of visiting the Russia in Great War museum – an institution dedicated to the involvement of Russia in the Second World War. It was astounding, as we learnt about a Russian perspective of the war, something which is not often talked about in textbooks.
Moreover, we visited various historical and holy sites such as the Kremlin, the iconic Saint Basil’s cathedral, the Winter Palace – the very spot where the Russian revolution started – the Moscow State University, and even morbid sites such as the room where the infamous Rasputin was murdered. It was a unique opportunity to dive deep into the history of such a culturally and historically rich country like Russia, and I am sure we all arrived back in Brazil with our heads heavy with knowledge.
Aside from the history, the beautiful scenery of Moscow and Saint Petersburg was breathtaking, causing the group to constantly stop to take photos. We were lucky to visit in the middle of autumn, so the trees were bright orange and yellow, adding to the marvellous setting. Besides the beauty of the country, we also enjoyed simply walking around, despite the bitter cold, just to experience everyday Russian life.
We also had opportunities to go bowling, visit the world famous Mariinsky ballet, where we saw a performance of Swan Lake, and watch a folk show. Yet I must admit, the whole trip was filled with enjoyable experiences – either from tasting interesting Russian food, listening to traditional Russian music on bus rides to even just listening to our guide.
We left with a much fuller appreciation of a Russian perspective of its history and contemporary events. The trip was incredible, not only for the vast knowledge we gained, but also for all the moments, laughter and experiences that we brought back with us to São Paulo. This is a trip that I will definitely remember for the rest of my life and would absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in history, or learning about new cultures. It was certainly a unique and great opportunity, for which I am very grateful!