Cigar expedition. Kaluga

Another traditional expedition with a trip to one of the branches of the Russian Cigar Union. Now – Kaluga.

The program was prepared for us by our colleague Andrei Zubenko and the Minister of Culture of the Kaluga Region Pavel Suslov. Two years ago, with his help, we already organized an expedition – to the linen factory, the owner’s village in Goncharovs.

What did we see in Kaluga? First of all, the updated museum of cosmonautics, which, together with the Tula Museum of Weapons and the Kulikovo Field Museum-Reserve, is considered one of the best in Europe. It was opened in 1967 with the participation of Sergei Korolev and Yuri Gagarin, and became the first space museum in the world.

After a large-scale reconstruction, it opened its doors again on April 12, 2021, the year of the 650th anniversary of the founding of Kaluga. The exhibition has been significantly expanded, many modern exhibits have appeared, incl. prototypes of future space modules, high-tech space suits. A modern 5D cinema has also been created, where you can feel closer to the stars.

After the Museum of Cosmonautics, we visited the Konstantin Tsialkovsky House Museum. The great dreamer and theorist of astronautics lived here from 1892 until his death in 1935. Tsialkovsky wrote: “Heroes and daredevils will lay the first flight paths Earth – Moon orbit, Earth – Mars orbit. And even further: Moscow – Moon, Kaluga – Mars .

Konstantin Eduardovich dreamed of the stars, lived the future happiness of mankind and was practically not interested in the joys of earthly life. He was irritated by anything that distracted him from his work. He preached asceticism and did not strive for a prosperous life. The interior of the house speaks for itself. But who knows, if he paid more attention to earthly affairs – when would humanity take its first step into outer space? ..

Some of the colleagues who had already been to Tsialkovsky’s house earlier decided to wait for the others outside and smoke. And besides that, they sang together several hits from the 70s and 80s. As Nikolai Kasyanov later said, passersby looked with respect at three respectable men with a box of cigars, who sang nostalgic hits “Flowers” and “Pesnyars” in a lyrical chorus near Tsialkovsky’s house. Someone brushed away a running tear and sang along. Others hastened their steps…

The group reunited for an evening excursion – they walked along the old Kaluga, examined interesting pre-revolutionary buildings. A number of architectural monuments are in need of restoration, but most of them are already in excellent condition. The city looks well-kept, cozy. If we had come earlier, we would have seen more. But it was getting dark and they were already waiting for us at dinner.

In the evening we met an aficionado from the Kaluga branch of the RCC – Andrey Zubenko introduced us to Alexander Bogdashvili and Alexei Arkhipov. We talked and found out how the Kaluga cigar lives. Many kind words were said about the cigar fraternity. We invited colleagues to Moscow and other regions – friends will be welcome everywhere.

Andrey Loskutov brought a box of Sevastopol cigars from the Hero Cities – Victory Cigars project to the meeting. Its official premiere will take place on May 9, 2022, but friendly joint procurements have already begun.

The RCC is planning an expedition to the Tula region. It will be interesting to evaluate two more museums that Russia is proud of.

A photograph: Ulyana Selezneva

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