Descendants of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy have arrived on a special train at the ancestral estate Yasnaya Polyana, which is situated in the Tula region 200 kilometres from Moscow. The guests were greeted with welcoming songs and bread and salt of hospitality.
For the first time 87-year-old grand-daughter of Leo Tolstoy, Tatiana, has arrived in the native country of her grandfather and, asked how she ventured to undertake such a journey, she laconically replied: "Because it is my family".
At the station the Tolstoy descendants, many of whom are in Russia for the first time, had their first glimpse of exhibits from the Yasnaya Polyana museum-estate /the station runs an exhibition, "Leo Tolstoy and the Railway"/.
Tolstoy's descendants will see local sights, visit a service at the Nikolo-Konchakovsky church, and the family cemetery. Exhibitions and concerts, a picnic and a riding party will be arranged in honour of the guests.
Hunting with falcons and hounds is scheduled, as well as a visit to the museum's affiliates at Krapivino and Pirogovo. The writer's descendents will take part in traditional hay- and jam-making, the pastimes they so liked during the last family reunion two years ago.
In conclusion the guests will be treated to a fireworks display and an air balloon ride, Vladimir Tolstoy, director of the Yasnaya Polyana museum and also the writer's descendent, told RIA Novosti.
According to Olga Alexeyeva, the grand-daughter of Tolstoy's youngest son, revival of the family tradition of visiting the estate is very important, since only during such meetings all members of the family have the chance to meet together.
Olga believes that establishment of a trusteeship board of the Yasnaya Polyana museum and of overseas branches of the Tolstoy Heritage Foundation will benefit the museum and help bring the family together.