We dressed up, taking extra time to put curls in the girls' hair. We primped and preened. It was cold outside so we bundled up to meet our friends at the gate. Of course getting a group of girls together always takes a bit more time than planned but eventually we left the embassy and headed to the metro. I realized that we were really cutting it tight as we boarded the last train. When the doors opened in the final station we took off running. Ten girls and women in high heels and fur coats sprinting through the very busy station. We had purses and scarves flying behind us as we wove in and out of passengers headed in the other directions. This particular station was one of the ones with a kazillion exits. Fortunately I have done this route many times over the past few months and knew exactly which turns to make. We snaked our way through the tunnels and finally popped up just outside the Kremlin walls.
We threw our purses on the scanner, began unbuttoning coats then took off running over the cobblestone bridge and into the Kremlin Palace for the ballet. We shoved our things at the coat attendant and ran to the doors just as the lights were beginning to dim. We had made it just in time. It was actually a lot of fun having to race and we all arrived in good spirits with no twisted ankles!
I panted in my seat for a good thirty minutes allowing the adrenaline to slow down. The ballet was absolutely magnificent. The curtains were painted in iridescent colors, shimmering in the light cast upon the stage. The dancers floated and spun across the stage without effort. The story unfolded a bit differently than I was used to. The little girl I know as Clara is Marie here in Russia. After having seen the Grand Rapids Ballet perform the Nutcracker many times, I was very pleased to see attractive mice costumes rather than huge paper mache heads swinging around on stage.
I could have watched forever, mesmerized by every movement.
Wishing the evening to go on a bit longer a group of us headed over to Shokolanitza for a cup of their special hot chocolate drink. Just think of a demitasse cup filled with warm Hershey's syrup and a dainty little spoon.
Seeing the Nutcracker here in Moscow was the best way to usher in the Christmas season.