We were only going to be here for 2 nights and we did not expect to see too much of the Russian Capital. How wrong can you be? We arrived at about 3.30pm – skies were overcast, the temperature was struggling to get above zero and the wind wasa blowing strongly. It was freezing! Fortunately we were met by a delightful couple with their 3 children and – most importantly- a van!
Our packs were quickly stowed into the van, and I would like to say that we were whisked away to their apartment. But ‘twas not to be – first we had to purchase rail tickets for our next leg to St Petersburg. This turned out to be incredibly difficult and frustrating. I haven’t the time or patience to tell you all about it: suffice to say that the procedure took over an hour; they would only sell 8 tickets from one booth, they got all our passports tangled up and we ended up paying full fare for everyone and at least 4 times as much as we had budgeted for. After that the van drove off with our stuff, and we went for our first trip on the Moscow Metro. The most elaborate Underground system ever! You felt like you were raiding somebody’s Crypt. Efficient, decorative and very noisy.
After 40 mins or so we emerged above ground to be greeted with light horizontal snow. It was still cold! And walked to the apartment – the usual ugly soviet concrete block with crumbling exterior and dungeon-like interior. But the apartment itself, though tiny, was warm and inviting.We were quickly at home, and digging into large bowls of steaming soup!
We thought we would get an early night after spending the previous 4 on a train, but our hosts had other ideas and insisted on taking us to walk around Moscow’s Exhibition Centre. We got there about 8.pm and did not get home until late. needless to say we froze ourselves stiff!
After a hearty breakfast the next morning we thought we could take a quick look at Red Square and get the kids home for a nap. But no… We got to the Square around midday then started a long trek to see the Kremlin,
Ivan the Terrible’s castle,
Red sq the changing of the guard,
a few cathedrals, the State Department store
and a mall where we found some food. Then on again for a walk alongside the river and a look for more cathedrals. We walked ourselves to a standstill. Then another trip on the Metro to get homeTags: Digs, Food, Transport, Travel, Weather, Tag Index