Last week was an interesting one and included attending a dinner with Michael D Higgins (President of Ireland) and arriving in Moscow. I was really looking forward to attending an event with the president as I've been keen to hear him give a speech in person. His one on Tuesday evening was very good indeed. It's so refreshing to have a president who is a public intellectual and can talk to big themes and issues. I landed in Moscow late yesterday afternoon. Today I was a given a tour of Red Square, the Kremlin and the Tretyakov gallery (Russian art). The Kremlin is quite something, especially the five cathedrals within the walls which are stunning inside with floor to ceiling icons. Also passed by the Bolshoi Theatre, the Lubyanka, and Moscow State University. My impression of Moscow before coming here, gleaned from cold war films and literature, was a grey, drab, dreary city, with endless blocks of Soviet-style apartments, whereas it’s a vibrant European-style city with wide boulevards and a lot of interesting architecture. There’s certainly been a lot of development in the last twenty years. It reminds me a bit of Berlin.
My posts last week
He axed for it
Review of The Human Flies by Hans Olav Lahlum
Review of Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear