Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hermitage: 2 Tom: 0

Sickness may have kept me in bed for four days, but it didn't stop me from failing to update my blog. I spent Thursday, Friday, and most of Saturday in bed, and by Sunday was very close to dying of boredom. As such I decided that perhaps a little bit of an outing was what I needed. My friend Hannah and I ventured to the Hermitage, in hopes of seeing a new exhibit or trophy art stolen by the Red Army as the Soviets rampaged across Eastern Europe and Germany at the end of WWII. Many of these pieces, such as Heinrich Schliemann's gold from the city of Troy, are super valuable, and in many cases, thought lost forever until they "turned up" in the Hermitage's vast storage facilities as little as five years ago. We were however, defeated in our quest, not only did we not see the exhibit, we couldn't even FIND it. Not that that fact is particularly surprising. The Hermitage is unnecessarily huge, filling up three stories of the former winter palace and an adjoining building. And that's simply the art on display. Legend holds that the Hermitage's collection is so extensive, that to even glance at each piece of the collection for a couple of seconds, one would need nearly nine years.
As such we spent the next few hours wandering about the museum. The most surreal part of the day for me was going up to the museum's third floor. In dark, dingy rooms lit with fluorescent lights like you would find in a public school classroom, filled with famous Monets, Matisses, and other works by French artists. The visit, while completely unsuccessful, was a good deal of fun. I spent the evening with Lyuda, we went to the movies. We ended up seeing some French movie about oceans. I can't say as though I found the movie particularly entertaining or enjoyable. Take Planet Earth, remove the audio, and then replace it with classical music and some really pretentious narration about discovery and some other mumbo jumbo I couldn't understand. And then make it last almost 2.5 hours. And to top it all off, end the movie with a 10 minute montage of beautiful dolphins and whales getting harpooned, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death. Needless to say I didn't eat the fish I was offered for dinner that night...
Today, instead of an excursion (apparently no one checked to see if the museum we were planning to visit was open on Wednesdays...) Hannah and I (this time with some reinforcements) again ventured to the Hermitage, determined to find this damned exhibit. The Reader's Digest version of the story is that once again the Hermitage foiled our plan. Another few hours spent wandering the museum in the desperate hope of finding what I would like to think would be a pretty obvious exhibit. On the plus side though, we did see two Da Vinicis and I got to go to my favorite part of any museum, the arms and armour. Hopefully if I don't procrastinate too much/understand my homework, I'll write another post tonight, but right now I'm going to go eat dinner.

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