19580
China/Mongolia/Russia
Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow
Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway to fulfill the dream of a lifetime as you journey from Beijing to Moscow, discovering natural wonders, vibrant cultures and historic sites along the way!
Rating (5)
Program No. 19580RJ
Length
19 days
Starts at
9,899
Flights start at
1,700
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19 days
18 nights
45 meals
16 B 14 L 15 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
In Transit Across the International Dateline
In Flight
DAY
3
Arrive Beijing, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Beijing
D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room, then take some time to unpack, freshen up, and relax before our late afternoon Orientation session. Orientation: Our Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will also receive “boarding passes” with car and cabin numbers for the train ride from Beijing to Erlian commencing at the end of Day 5. In China, most dinners and lunches will be family style with various dishes brought to the table and placed on a turntable where everyone helps themselves. Chopsticks, forks, and Chinese spoons will be available; soft drinks and water included, other beverages available for purchase. Aboard trains, we will have plated and served set meals. At local restaurants in Russia, we’ll have plated set meals with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have our welcome dinner and enjoy a traditional Chinese favorite, Peking Duck.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
4
Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square, Beijing Opera
Beijing
B,L,D
Qianmen Jianguo Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. The drive to the Great Wall at Badaling is approximately 2 hours; walking 1/4 mile from parking lot to Great Wall. Climbing approximately 30 steps, then extensive steps and slopes according to personal interest, 1.5 to 2 hours; comfortable walking shoes required, walking sticks recommended for those who use them. Lunch room available for those who descend earlier or who decide not to climb the Wall. We will return to the bus as a group at the end of the field trip.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as meats, eggs, cereals, fruit, and Chinese dishes such as rice porridge and cooked vegetables; beverages include juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Boarding a bus with our Group Leader, we’ll depart Beijing on a field trip to a green mountain range where we can walk along the Great Wall, one of the most extraordinary human constructions on earth. Totaling a colossal distance of more than 13,000 miles with its many branches, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was begun in the 3rd century BCE and greatly expanded by the Ming Dynasty in the 1600s. Rising up to 50 feet and topped by 12-foot ramparts and guard towers, the Great Wall signified the attempts of Chinese emperors to keep invaders out as well as Chinese cultural and intellectual advancements within.

Lunch: At a local restaurant near the Great Wall we’ll have a buffet meal with typical Chinese dishes including rice, meats, vegetables, and non-meat dishes for vegetarians; soft drinks and water included.

Afternoon: On our return journey, we’ll visit the heart of Beijing, Tian'anmen Square. Meaning “Gate of Heavenly Palace,” Tiananmen is the location of formal celebrations and ceremonies bounded by the Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, the China National Museum, Great Hall of the People, Monument to the People's Heroes, and the Tiananmen Tower. This huge piazza is also where families come to stroll and chat. In 1989, Tian'anmen Square was the site of pro-democracy protests seen around the world.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a “family style” meal.

Evening: At a theater next door, enjoy a taste of Beijing opera, a unique art form that uses brilliant costumes, mannerized make-up, acrobatics and martial arts, various types of falsetto singing, and exuberant percussionists. The performance is presented with English and modern Chinese supertitles above the stage. At the end of the performance, we’ll return to the hotel. Prepare for check out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
5
Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Board Chinese Train
Chinese Train
B,L,D
Chinese Train

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to approximately 2.5 miles throughout the day: approximately 1/2 mile from entrance to exit of Temple of Heaven park; approximately 2 miles in and around Forbidden City; flat, paved terrain; about 70 steps if you climb up the Temple of Heaven. Train ride from Beijing to Erlian on Chinese-Mongolian border approximately 16 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll bring our luggage to the hotel lobby for transfer to the train, check out, and depart via bus for a field trip to the Temple of Heaven with our Group Leader. This 15th-century architectural masterpiece, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest remaining sacrificial temple in China. We’ll walk around its encircling park and observe the activities of local people practicing calligraphy, tai chi, musical instruments, dancing, or flying kites. We’ll then experience the majesty of the Temple itself, built as a symbol of the relationship between heaven and earth. The complex covers 6,670 acres (2,668 hectares), an area greater than the Imperial palace.

Lunch: In an “Old Beijing” hutong, we’ll have a family-hosted lunch including jaozi (Chinese style dumplings). Hutongs are old residential neighborhoods with courtyard homes situated in small lanes and alleys that are rapidly disappearing due to urban development.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll explore the Forbidden City with our Group Leader. This 250-acre imperial compound once was the residence and seat of the Qing Emperors and forbidden to all others. Surrounded by a 170-foot moat, the center of the city is home to the best-preserved collection of buildings from the Ming dynasty including the massive Meridian Gate, three Great Halls, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, the Imperial Garden, and Treasure Gallery.

Dinner: At a local tea house, we’ll have a “family style” meal.

Evening: To conclude this portion of the program, we’ll transfer to the train station and check in with the assistance of our Chinese Group Leader. When the gate opens to board the train, we will walk down to the platform and board according to our individual car and cabin assignments (provided in the initial Orientation session). The ride to Erlian is approximately 16 hours. Located on the Chinese-Mongolian border northwest of Beijing, Erlian is the transfer point on the Trans-Mongolian Railway where we will switch trains.

DAY
6
Mongolia Intro, Erlian Border, Transfer to Tsar’s Gold Train
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Breakfast: Aboard the train, we will have plated and served set meals; coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase via beverage cards used throughout the trip and paid at the end by US dollars, Euros, or Russian roubles only, no credit cards or personal checks.

Morning: Sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the passing landscapes as we traverse the countryside to Mongolia. Mid-morning, our onboard expert will provide an overview of Mongolia from Genghis Khan to the 20th century. Following the death of Genghis Kahn, his empire begin to shrivel over the following two centuries; when the Ming Dynasty came to power in 1368, the Mongols retreated north to the Northern Yuan dynasty, encompassing much of modern day Mongolia. The following 400 years were plagued by violent power struggles and rebellions until the Qing dynasty expanded north in the 18th century, maintaining control of Mongolia until declaring independence in 1911.

Lunch: Aboard the train.

Afternoon: Around midday, the train is scheduled to arrive at the border, where the changeover to the special Tsar’s Gold private train takes place. The rail track gauge between China and Mongolia differs in size, requiring the change of trains at this juncture. The Russians (Soviets) built their rail gauge slightly wider than the standard size gauge used in Europe and China. As a hub for trade between China and Mongolia, Erlian’s population rapidly expanded when the town opened up for international trade following the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will board the Tsar’s Gold train and ride north to Ulaanbaatar. Settle into your comfortable cabin and enjoy the amenities onboard as we ride through the Gobi Desert.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: At leisure. Tomorrow, we will go on an overnight field trip to Ulaanbaater. Pack an overnight bag to bring everything you will need. Baggage will remain aboard the Tsar’s Gold Train.

DAY
7
Ulaanbaatar, Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum
UlaanBaatar
B,L,D
Bayangol Hotel

Activity note: Bring overnight bag. Getting on/off a bus.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: Arriving in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, we will disembark the train and transfer to the hotel for check-in.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will being our exploration of Ulaanbaatar with a field trip via private bus to the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum. A local expert will tell us about Mongolia’s last Bogd Khaan — Living Buddha — who lived 20 years in this compound, built between 1893 and 1903. Unlike other old sites in Ulaanbaatar, this one escaped destruction in the 1930s Stalinist purges. Six temples remain, as does a ceremonial gate built without the use of nails.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We’ll transfer by bus to the Mongolian National Theater for a performance of traditional dances and Mongolian throat singing. These eerie vocalizations are one of the world’s oldest known forms of music. Through specialized techniques, throat singers can produce overtones that produce more than one note at a time.

DAY
8
Gandan Monastery, Horseback Riding Demo, Tsar’s Train
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus.

Breakfast: At the hotel, choose what you like from the breakfast buffet that includes milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll set out on a field trip via bus to the beautiful and historic Gandan Monastery, meaning Great Place of Complete Joy. Founded in 1727, it was moved to its current location in 1838. A local expert will tell us about about Buddhist traditions of Mongolia. Mongolia’s monasteries were once small, mobile organizations that moved with the nomads. The Gandan monastery was badly damaged during the 1930 Stalinist repressions, but the main temple was allowed by to remain as a showcase for foreigners. Today it houses a 20-ton gilded statue of “the Lord Who Looks in Every Direction,” created in the 1990s to replace the original destroyed by communists in 1937. We’ll then venture outside the city to get a feel for the wide-open spaces and natural beauty for which Mongolia as we head to Terelj, where some traditional nomadic people live.

Lunch: At a traditional Mongolian-style ger (yurt), we’ll meet a local family and go inside to share a meal of their simple food. Our local expert will translate and explain life in a ger.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll see a demonstration of Mongolian horseback riding. Horses have long played a prominent role in Mongolian culture, both as transportation and as a representation of a man’s wealth. Our local expert will again provide translation and an explanation of the demonstration. We will return to the train at the end of our field trip.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: At leisure as the train makes its way to the Russian border.

DAY
9
Cultures of Siberia, Explore Ulan-Ude
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: Today the train will roll through the valley of the Selenga River that flows into Lake Baikal. En route, our onboard expert will lead a presentation on Siberia as a melting pot of cultures and spiritual beliefs. Siberia is home to dozens of indigenous populations and millions of Eastern Europeans who emigrated west to open land and nearly limitless resources. We will make a stop en route to Ulan Ude and arrive late morning.

Lunch: Aboard the train.

Afternoon: For our next field trip, we will explore Ulan-Ude, capital of the Buryat Republic, via private bus with a local expert. Formerly called Udinsk, Ulan-Ude was founded in 1666 by Cossacks as a winter encampment on the Selenga River. The city later prospered as a major trading post along the tea route between China and Irkutsk. We will see the original merchant center of the city with its wooden Siberian houses; the trade rows and administrative center; the city’s first stone Orthodox church; and the largest statue of Lenin’s head in the world, more than 25 feet (7.7 meters) tall, cast in bronze. We’ll return to the train after our field trip.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Lake Baikal Boat Ride, To Irkutsk
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Activity note: Boat ride from Port Baikal station to Listvyanka village is about 40 minutes.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: This morning we will leave the Trans-Siberian mainline in Sludyanka and journey along the single-track Circumbaikal Railway that runs along the southwestern shore of Lake Baikal. This was the original line used by the Trans-Siberian before the present day route was completed. Considered one of the most complicated rail systems in the world, the route hugs the rocky lake shore and passes through 33 tunnels along its length. Aboard the train, enjoy spectacular views of Lake Baikal. Called the Sacred Sea by the indigenous people who have lived along its shores, UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal is the oldest lake in the world and the deepest and largest freshwater lake by volume on earth. Formed in a rift in the earth's surface nearly 25 million years ago, the lake basin today holds about twenty percent of the world's unfrozen fresh water. Its great age and isolation have produced one of the richest and most unusual ecosystems on earth.

Lunch: Aboard the train.

Afternoon: We’ll take a boat across the mouth of the Angara River to the charming lakeshore village of Listvyanka. We’ll have independent time to explore the village on foot, take photos, go to the market near the pier, or have refreshments at one of the cafés. The Group Leader announce a time to return to the pier and catch the boat transfer back to the train.

Dinner: At one of the old rail stations, we’ll have a barbecue dinner on the beach.

Evening: At leisure. Tomorrow, we will go on an overnight field trip to Irkutsk. Pack an overnight bag to bring everything you will need. Baggage will remain aboard the Tsar’s Gold Train.

DAY
11
Performance, Museum of Wooden Architecture
Irkutsk
B,L,D
Courtyard Irkutsk City Center

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus several times during the day. Walking up to 1 mile around outdoor museum; uneven surfaces, pavements, stairs.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: Arriving in Irkutsk, we’ll board a bus with a local expert and explore the city. Highlights include the Church of Our Savior and the restored house of Prince Sergei Volkonsky, now the House Museum of the Decembrists. The Decembrists are intertwined with Irkutsk’s modern history as a group of advocates for democratic reform. After fighting aboard in the War of 1812, this group of young officers tried to force the Senate to abolish serfdom and institute various reforms in December 1825. Upon the failure of their rebellion, five of their leaders were hanged; others were forced to hard labor in Siberia and settled their families Irkutsk when their sentences were over, bringing with them their education and culture. At the museum, we’ll attend a private concert with a glass of champagne.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated set meals with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll take a field trip outside the city to the delightful outdoor Museum of Wooden Architecture that covers 166 acres. This collection of authentic Russian and native Buryat, Evenki, and Tafalar houses and community buildings reflect peasant life in Siberia from the 17th century to the early 20th century. These structures were moved here and reassembled to represent how indigenous communities lived. We’ll then check in to our hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Local restaurant plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Siberian Taiga, Vodka Tasting
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Reboarding the train, we’ll roll through the vast Siberian taiga — boreal forest — and spend the day relaxing onboard the train. As we pass Krasnoyarsk on the Yenisei River, consider that we have arrived at the geographic center of Russia.

Lunch: Aboard the train.

Afternoon: We’ll gather in a car with our onboard expert for an exclusive presentation on the collapse of the Soviet Union and how it affected the lives of ordinary people across the country. There will also be train-wide talks over the PA system.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: We’ll enjoy a traditional Russian vodka tasting.

DAY
13
Novosibirsk Opera House, Lenin Square
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile; city streets, uneven surfaces, stairs.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: Today we arrive in Novosibirsk, Siberia’s largest city and Russia’s third-largest after Moscow and St. Petersburg. With a population of more than 1.6 million people Novosibirsk is Siberia’s industrial center and owes much of its growth to the Trans-Siberian Railroad; in 1900 only 15,000 people lived here. We’ll learn about the city as we ride through the central area with a local expert and see Lenin Square with Russia’s largest opera house.

Lunch: Local restaurant plated meal.

Afternoon: Returning to the train, the remainder of the afternoon is free.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Bolshevik Revolution, Ekaterinburg
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile; city streets, uneven surfaces, stairs.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: In preparation for our stop in Ekaterinburg, we’ll have an onboard presentation on the demise of Czar Nicholas II and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty. Among the factors that led to the February Revolution of 1917 were massive peasant poverty, urban workers who were becoming politicized, the unwillingness or inability of the Czar to support reforms, and Russia’s disastrous defeats in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. The abdication of Nicholas II led to the short-lived Russian Republic, superseded by the October Revolution that put the Soviets in power.

Lunch: Local restaurant plated meal.

Afternoon: Founded in 1721 and named after Catherine I, Ekaterinburg — current population 1.4 million — has a fair number of pre-revolutionary buildings. We will see some of the traditional and ornately decorated wooden houses of former aristocratic citizens. But Ekaterinburg is best known as the place where the last czar, Nicholas II, and his family were imprisoned and executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. We will explore the Church on Blood (the Church on Blood in Honor of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land) that stands over the spot where they died. The family has since been canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church, and declared “passion bearers.” The church was designed in the early 20th century Russian/Byzantine style and opened in 2003. Ekaterinburg was also the birthplace of Boris Yeltsin. Born to peasant parents, Yeltsin studied civil engineering at Ekaterinburg Technical University before working his way up the ladder in the Communist Party.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Kazan, Kremlin, Qol Sharif Mosque, Peter & Paul Cathedral
Tsar's Gold Train
B,L,D
Tsar's Gold Train

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile; city streets, uneven surfaces, stairs.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: Today the train will pull into Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, an old city on the Volga River with a fascinating multi-ethnic history. The Tatars, who make up a majority of the population, are actually Turkic Muslims with an ethnic makeup identical to that of early Bulgarians. A local expert will lead our exploration by bus as we see highlights such as the city's kremlin, the Qol Sharif Mosque, Peter and Paul Cathedral, and the shores of Lake Kaban. Inaugurated in 2005, the Qol Sharif Mosque stands where its original stood until 1552, when it was razed by Ivan the Terrible’s conquering army. Named after Imam Seid Qol Sharif, the Tatar cleric who died defending it, the turquoise and white mosque is the largest in Russia. The mosque has become a symbol of Kazan and Tatarstan.

Lunch: Local restaurant plated meal.

Afternoon: Returning to the train, we will depart Kazan. We’ll then have a presentation on traditions, customs, superstition, and beliefs influencing the Russian national character.

Dinner: Aboard the train.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Arrive Moscow, Disembark Train, City Overview
Moscow
B,L,D
Hotel Park Inn Sadu

Activity note: Baggage will be transported from the train to the hotel. Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile; city streets, uneven surfaces, stairs.

Breakfast: Aboard the train.

Morning: During our last morning aboard the train, we will complete our journey to Moscow. Reflect on the landscapes we have traversed — the Gobi desert, Siberian taiga, rift lakes, and the Ural Mountains – and the cities we have visited during our 4,735 mile train ride.

Lunch: Aboard the train.

Afternoon: Arriving in Moscow, we will disembark the train while porters collect our baggage and transfer it to the hotel. We’ll board a bus with a local expert for an orientation to the city. Since the Soviet flag last flew on 25 December 1991, central Moscow has undergone a transformation. Beautiful buildings from the days of the Russian Empire that were allowed to all into disrepair under the communist regime, are being restored to their former glory. We will drive by some of Moscow’s best-known sites including Red Square, the Duma building where Russia’s governing body meets; the Bolshoi Theater; the forbidding Lubyanka prison where the KGB was headquartered; Moscow State University on the Sparrow Hills for a panoramic city view; the moving World War II Memorial and Victory Park on Farewell Hill; and a drive along the Sofiyskaya Embankment, past the 16th century Novodevichy Convent by the Moscow “White House” and to the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. We’ll explore the Cathedral of Christ the Savior that has had a tumultuous history. Built from 1839 to 1883 to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon in 1812, it was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931 to make way for a Palace of Soviets. However, the soft ground could not support the huge building, and so the excavation was used for the world's largest outdoor swimming pool. In the 1990s the Moscow government meticulously rebuilt the cathedral, completing it in 1998. We’ll check in to the hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Local restaurant plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
Red Square, The Kremlin, Armory Museum, Moscow Metro
Moscow
B,L
Hotel Park Inn Sadu

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles indoors and out; inside the Kremlin approximately 3 hours; some steep inclines, stairs, cobblestone pavements. The Moscow Metro involves lengthy, steep, and fast-moving escalators, stairs, walking from platform to platform, getting on/off trains, and crowded conditions. Those who prefer not to have the Metro experience may transfer to Arbat Street aboard the motorcoach.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes milk, juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll embark on a field trip by bus and walking with a local expert and see Red Square, the Kremlin, and the Armory Museum. Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral are perhaps the most recognizable symbols of Russia. The square owes it origins to Ivan III, who in the late 15th century had all buildings removed from the eastern wall of the Kremlin. St. Basil's — named after Vasily, the "holy fool" who predicted Ivan would murder his own son — was built 1555-156 named was built 1555-61 to celebrate Ivan the Terrible's victory at the Tatar stronghold of Kazan. For the next several centuries, this newly formed area was a trading center. In 1920, all traders were banned from the square, and in the early 1960s cars were banned as well, making Red Square a pedestrian area. St. Basil’s was originally painted white; the domes were not patterned and colored as they are today until 100 years later. We’ll admire the vivid exterior. The Moscow Kremlin reminds modern-day Russia of its medieval past. Built on the site of Prince Yuri's hunting lodge, the Kremlin overlooks the Moskva and Neglina rivers. In the mid-14th century, the Russian princes, ruling from the Kremlin, became so powerful that Moscow was named the center of the Russian Orthodox Church. Under the guidance of Ivan the Great, Moscow extended its influence and soon became the seat of Russian political power as well. Today, the Kremlin remains the center of Moscow and Russian politics. Inside the fortress walls are palaces, cathedrals, government buildings and the Armory Museum. Built in the 16th century as a warehouse for the Kremlin's weaponry, the Armory was transformed into an exhibition hall and museum in 1814. It now houses Russia's national treasures, such as religious icons, Faberge eggs, a bejeweled chalice belonging to Prince Yuri, and Catherine the Great's ball gowns and shoes.

Lunch: Local restaurant plated meal.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our exploration of Moscow via the famous Moscow Metro, a fascinating experience on its own. The first Moscow Metro station opened in 1935, and today there are more than 150 of them along the 125 miles of track. The stations in the city center are showpieces of Socialist art, furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, and with marbled, gilded, and bronzed walls and ceilings. We’ll arrive at Arbat Street, an artist’s enclave that originated as the home of court artisans and craftsmen in the 1400s. Today. the Arbat is like a busy street fair, with small shops lining the sides of the streets and tables of crafts and merchandise such as traditional Russian goods, fur hats, matrioshki dolls, and woolen scarves. Street artists draw portraits while musicians sing and play.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. Take this opportunity to continue enjoying what Moscow has to offer.

DAY
18
Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics
Moscow
B,D
Hotel Park Inn Sadu

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus. Walking up to 1 mile; city streets, uneven surfaces, stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: For our next field trip, we’ll board a bus with a local expert for an inside look at the Russian (Soviet) space program that includes an exclusive meeting with a former cosmonaut. The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is housed in the base of the monument named "To the Conquerors of Space." Here we’ll learn about the past and present contributions the Russians have made to space exploration. The monument is a huge upright titanium contrail behind a rocket taking off into the sky. It was built in 1964 to commemorate the 1957 launching of Sputnik, the first-ever orbiting satellite. It was the lights of Sputnik moving across the night sky that prompted the U.S. to step up its own space program. The museum celebrates the Soviet Union's exploits in space, and includes artifacts like Yuri Gagarin's space suit and the first rocket engine, designed and built in 1931 by engineer F. Tsander. The small movie theater for video showings resembles the inside of a spaceship. 2011 marked the 50th anniversary of man's first space flight, a feat achieved by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like or sample the local fare.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: Local restaurant plated meal. During our farewell dinner, share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
19
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 12:00 Noon. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are in independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation from Last Location.”

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!