I’m not much of a one for hokey tourist souvenirs but I did know that the one thing I had to buy in Moscow was a Matrioshka doll. I was utterly fascinated by them as a child, and always wanted one very, very badly. So I thought it would be good to find one for my little god-daughter Amelia, who turned five in December.
We were going to buy them from one of the souvenir stalls that line Revoylutsi Place, just by Red Square, but when we emerged from GUM late afternoon they had all been swept away in a security alert and all that was left in their place were small groups of hardcore looking security forces dotted around the square. Instead, we went into the underground shopping mall hiding in plain sight underneath Revoylutsi Place, and there found several kiosks with a vast assortment of Matrioshkas.
So here it is. I didn’t go for a super huge family, running all the way from huge to teeny tiny baby as Amelia has a toddler brother and I can see that it would be asking for trouble to introduce very small wooden parts to their household. I also ignored all the many painted variations (everything from football players to intricate Christmas themes) and went for the traditional decorated ones. (They are extraordinary: each Matrioshka is turned from a single piece of wood, otherwise the pieces won’t fit together.) I think this cost 350 roubles, about £8.
I spotted these later on.
Medvedev and Obama. Witty but not something I’d want in my living room.
LLG was a guest of Mango in Moscow