Dublin, March 2018
Late in March 2018 we would be going to Russia and Roger was excited. He had insisted on being properly equipped for his conquest of the mighty Russia. Once the Tsars ruled Russia - the Romanovs. Wow! Roger had visions: as Roger Romanov he'd be on a conquest to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Now, his humans were busy tailoring the finest clothes: A real Russian hat and a heavy fur coat, and Roger was impatiently waiting...
Click each photo to enlarge
We packed our gear and headed for the airport. From Dublin we flew Lufthansa to Frankfurt am Main in Germany. Here we are waiting to board an other Lufthansa flight to Moscow.
"Are you sure this is right?" Roger asked as he looked at the monitor.
"They do have some pretty odd letters here..."
"Well, it's Russian letters" McBear answered. "It says Moscow, Domodedovo. M is M, o is o, c is s, k is k, B is v and A is a. That makes Moskva, which is the Russian name for Moscow. The last bit is the airport name - we'll be landing in Domodedovo".
"Ok. That's good to know. As long as we're within Russian borders - we only have visas for Russia.
In Moscow, we stayed at the Novotel Hotel just north of the city centre. We had a large room at the 10th floor and a fine view.
Next morning after breakfast we found ourselves busy planning how to get to the Red Square. Roger's fur hat was still wrapped in plastic, and Roger couldn't wait to put it on...
Here we are at the Red Square. Wow! Roger was wearing his fine clothes and people around us were admiring the hero, Roger Romanov.
Wow! Here are in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral. You always see it on the news, when there's a reporter standing with the cathedral in the background. McBear was very excited. Tom and Doctor Oxford were with us.
It was time for coffee. We went into the posh shopping malls, the GUM
shopping center. The coffee was lovely, but when we got the bill, McBear
nearly had a heart attack: 890 it said.
"Oh, it's only rubles, thank God," he said.
Next day we went to Sergiev Posad, which is a small town north east of Moscow. Sergiev Posad is a town with many religious worshippers, and they have this fantastic place, Troitse-Sergijeva lavra. Roger was impressed.
Troitse-Sergijeva lavra is an amazing place with several churches within the walls. Most of them have the characteristic onion shaped domes.
In the evening McBear was busy catching up with the news from
the Toy Animals' Rights at home.
"But... can you read the paper at all?" Roger wanted to know.
"Well, I'm scanning the pages for anything looking like TAРФ - that's TARF in Russian", McBear said. "But so far I haven't come across TARF written in Russian anywhere".
Then, unfortunately, it was time to leave Moscow. We had had some
fantastic days. But Roger Romanov was on a quest: he only had limited
time to conquer Russia and next city on the list was St. Petersburg.
We took the high speed SAPSAN train, which reached a speed of 220 km/h on the way, wow!
Roger made sure he had a window seat...
In St. Petersburg we went to visit the famous Winter Palace. This
is a most imposing palace and Roger found it was a suitable place
for Roger Romanov. The Russian flag was waiving over the palace.
"Roger Romanov could easily feel at home here..." he said.
"Actually... it's not Roger Romanov: in Russian it's Рoджeр Рomaнoв - I think!"
Of course we had to have a group selfie, Roger, McBear, Tom and
Roger had got one of those red stars - the real Russian red star and he was very proud as it was now shining from his black hat...
"It's a bit of a contradiction, isn't it?" said McBear. "I mean, the Romanovs were the Tzars of Russia, and the red star symbolizes the communists who lead the Russian revolution in 1917 to end the Romanov regime..."
"Ah, McBear!" Roger responded. "That's a tiny inaccuracy! C'mon on!"
Having visited the Winter Palace and seen the 1000+ rooms
in the palace (well, it felt like we'd seen them all), it was
time for some well deserved coffee.
"Phew, it's getting really hot wearing this heavy fur", Roger was moaning.
Later, we had dinner at the Flying Dutchmann, a replica of a
17th century gallion. It was a fine restaurant.
"Most suitable for the great Roger Romanov," Roger believed.
We also went to visit the splendid palace, Tzarskoye Selo, and last on the list was Peterhof, just west of St. Petersburg. Here, Roger went around the park and felt like a great conquerer. This was the final accomplishment for Roger Romanov.