Kazan wasn’t originally on our Trans-Siberian itinerary, but after so many Russians told us that we had to spend a few days in the beautiful city (especially if we were taking time to see forgettable Omsk) we penciled it in.
Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan, and proudly boasts having discovered the secret to peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims. Maybe one day they’ll share their secret with the rest of the world?
At any rate, the Kazan Kremlin, a World Heritage Site, was pretty impressive, largely due to the huge mosque and church standing side by side within its walls.
Kazan is beautiful and definitely worth a stop if you’re traveling across Russia, especially as the mixture of Russian and Tatar culture there is really interesting.
On our second day in Kazan we went to the puppet theater on the recommendation of our Couchsurfing hosts. It seems like every Russian city has a puppet theater, so I figured seeing a show was pretty important for my education in Russian culture.
The performance ended up being a little strange with cloaked actors holding dolls and talking, and I did feel a little out of place surrounded by all the tiny children, but the theater was beautiful!
And then something happened that I never dreamed was possible: we went to a museum and I didn’t hate it!
You see, I have a very serious disorder where whenever I’m in a museum for longer than ten minutes I slip into catatonia. I often forget about my problem, happily entering a museum and enthusiastically reading all the captions in the first room or two. But it never lasts, and after a while Dan inevitably will find me slumped over on a bench somewhere, unable to muster the energy to look up until I’ve left the building.
I knew the same would happen at the Soviet Lifestyle Museum, and I remember nervously looking for a good spot to sit as soon as we entered. But then… there were old Soviet toys to play with! Soviet clothing to try on! Photos of random Soviet kitsch to take!
I didn’t fall asleep once. (SPOILER: I totally fell asleep in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. I know.)
I did, however, shed a few tears, because look who has the second best father of all time (first best belongs to this blogger here – sorry guys, but it’s true).
In case you can’t read the note, it says:
This jacket was sewn from the cover of party card because a father wanted his daughter to look fashionable.
In order to make the jacket he bought more than 120 covers from different stores in the city. Notice how the jacket is sewn from small patches and on a few of these patches you can see the inscription “КПСС” (communist party of the Soviet Union).
Now I’ll leave you all to get some tissues and email your papas, because dads really are the best.
Do you like museums? What’s the best one you’ve visited?