From the ancient Cathedrals of Red Square to the secrets of the Kremlin and ghosts of Lubyanka, Moscow is a city with an ancient and enthralling history. I was determined to see as much as possible whilst there.

By chance our lecturer Dr William Taylor was in Moscow at the same time and magically organised a tour of the new Museum of Icons – a vast and impressive privately owned collection. This was followed by an equally rare behind-the-scenes tour of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour with access to all areas – including the roof – with absolutely stunning views in all directions! This is the tallest Orthodox church in the world. An evening walk around Red Square and a small shot of vodka (solely for professional purposes) completed a superb day.

The following morning my guide and I walked for miles and miles unravelling the past through visits to museums, a wonderful art gallery, Moscow’s huge department store Gum, an extended tour of the Kremlin and Moscow University. Any ghosts seemed benign today in the glorious warm sunshine.