Calm Beauty in Kazan

Kazan has proven gorgeous, calm, and the perfect blend of urban and small town. The mix of religious cultures is not “in your face,” but the orthodox Christian church and the mosque are side by side. I have seen women with beautiful headscarves covering their heads with color and style. (In general, the women are impeccably dressed and very sweet looking.)

English is rare to find, but we have been handed a few English menus. The mosque was lovely, and a good learning experience for my daughter.

I also smoked some hookah for the first time.

We visited the museum of Islamic history and the mosque. It may have been the first time my daughter saw items about 1,000 years old other than a dusty old mummy. I found a lot of the material interesting, various religious texts, holy books in Arabic and Armenian, photos from the 1917 Muslim Women’s Conference, and a chest with a dowry.

When we stopped for a hookah and coffee, and I got my daughter a ham sandwich and myself something with bacon, pineapple and blue cheese. It ended up being a Russian BLT. A delightful and flavorful thing.

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