This is an attempt at writing down what I saw and felt and did on my trip to Russia in June and July 1995.
This trip was the third tour by the Senior Choir of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church to sing and sightsee and do some outreach in foreign countries. Our first trip was in 1989, to Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. In 1992, we went to Ireland, North Ireland, and England. Each trip we have brought about 70 members of the choir and 50 friends and family of the choir along. I was on the first trip in it's entirety, hung around the second trip for about 4 days from Dublin to Belfast (there's a story there, but for some other time), and did all of the Russia trip.
The trip was a whirlwind of sights, activities, sensations; a rollercoaster emotionally; strenuous physically. I really ought to have written things down while I was there, but I don't know when I would have found time for it. One of our Intourist guides told my mother at one point that the sightseeing activities that we were doing would take most groups three weeks (we did them in two), and that didn't include time or energy for the choir's performances or rehearsals.
Russia overall was a mass of contradictions - very nice buildings right next to terrible ones, cheerful people in the midst of glum cities, open discussion of the good and bad points of the current and previous systems almost at the same time as nearly-Orwellian "doublethink".
Some more information on the people who went on the trip is available here.
If you like this (or just have comments) send me mail at email@example.com.