Monday, July 18, 2011

The Hermitage and the Russian bear


The Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. Catherine the Great got the museum started in the 1700s with an art-buying spree that ultimately included " 4,000 paintings from the old masters, 38,000 books, 10,000 engraved gems, 10,000 drawings, 16,000 coins and medals and a natural history collection filling two galleries" (Wikipedia).

Van Gogh at the Hermitage
Vincent Van Gogh
Mindy, Abby, and Alex initially focused on the Egyptian collection, while Joan, Erinna, and I went upstairs to find the French masters.

So what do you think was the highlight of the day for the girls? You got it--the bear cub right outside the Hermitage that they got to hold and cuddle for 200 rubles each.

Erinna and the bearAbby and the bear

Personally, I had mixed feelings. I can totally relate to the thrill of holding this fuzzy guy. But I can't help but wonder where he came from--and what will happen to him in a few months when he outgrows his cuteness.

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