I’ve lived in Russia for over a month. An entire month–longer than most vacations, shorter than any Navy deployment I ever completed. Yet I feel the hands of the Russian culture as they beckon me to explore.
Reminders of this nation’s culture and history are everywhere. From the statues throughout the city, to the breathtaking views along the Moscow River, to the varied architecture, it’s obvious this is not a young country by any means. Moscow was founded in the middle of the 12th century. Keeps my own years in perspective–I’m still young!
What’s impressed me most is the constant flow of ideas for my writing. Whether I’m looking at a statue of Pushkin on the Old Arbat or watching folks sunbathe in Gorky park as I float down the river on a city cruise, ideas and themes abound.
I had an opportunity to visit Tolstoy’s estate, approximately 3.5 hours south of Moscow. Used to these types of bus tours, I packed appropriately. Knitting helps writing ideas come to mind, and I have a notebook with me at all times.
The bus ride was bumpy and seemed endless at times, until we wound through the town of Tyla and then into Tolstoy’s estate grounds.
The view as we started our walk is one I’ll always treasure and associate with Russia. The birch-lined road felt more like a cathedral as the sun filtered through the tallest boughs. The white bark contrasted with the lush greenery and it was clear this was a place of respite and serenity.
From the cafe-laden streets of Moscow to the majesty of one of Russia’s, and the world’s, greatest author’s home, I daresay this is a place for writers.