On the first of october, we started in Vilnius in the afternoon. Our train left by time and we relaxed in our clean and comfortable coupé. We were lucky that there was no other traveller with us in our 4-person compartment and we could spread our big luggage around.
The train was clean, we got hot water or even real coffee (a service I hadn't found in a russian train for many years) and until night came I could admire the belorussian landscape. A very peaceful tour.
The custom control was taken by belorussian officers, because Russia and Belarus now have open borders. Because we had lithuanian and russian visa, we didn't need any belarus transit visa, although the officer tried to convince us that we did. Maybe he wanted to earn some extra money. We succeeded at least.
Our friend Nick Dmitriev awaited us at the Belorusskaja Wogsal (Whiterussian station) and took us to his house for some breakfast. By this we crossed the center of Moscow and I found time enough to see how the city changed in the last time: even more cars, more shops, more advertisement and a circus festival on the Red Square! A big cathedral with golden roofs is under construction now. When it will be finished, it will catch the eye from nearly everywhere in the centre of Moscow, so it rivals with the Kremlin.
Twerskaya Street is just one example how the streets changed: beside the kiosks, where you can buy alcohol, cigarettes or sweet at any time, you can now find all kind of luxury stores.
At Nick's house I connected to the net and tried to upload these pages, but I had no success, the line was too weak. So I will try again in Arkhangelsk or Vologda.
The evening concert will take place in Tchaikovski Hall, and this makes me a little sad. This was the place where I first heard the Pokrovsky-Ensemble and now I am here again, attending a memorial concert.
Now I am sitting in the artists' wardrobe and watch the preparations for the evening concert, which will be hold in memory of Dima Pokrovsky, who died too early this year. His ensemble is just rehearsing and so I get a private chance to enjoy this beautiful music.
The program of the concert was really interesting:
Most of these musicians will go together to the festivals of Vologda and Arkhangelsk.
Nikolai Dmitriev was the organizer of this concert and as he was too busy with getting all necessary stamps for the foreign artists' invitations and preparing the following tour, there was not enough time to spend on advertising the program. Although the Tchaikowski Hall did some advertising, the hall was not filled.
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