Russian capital city!
Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
161Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Eesti Airlines Hotel
On arrival we had to experience metro rush hour. Moscow metro is very badly signed and obviously almost all in Russian to make it more fun. If you don't understand Russian, then you have to count the station otherwise you won't know where you are. One thing that we also noticed in the metro is that there is a lot of police officers in all the stations.
On our first night, we were in a very nice private bedroom on a top floor apartment of a typical Moscow building with a nice view on the west side. The owner did not ask anything on arrival, just gave the key and the same when we left!! Normally, they check your passport, etc.
For the two other nights, we were staying at a newly refurbished hotel with all we need: Internet, kitchen, TV in English and clean shower!
Apart from the metro exploring, we visited the city from the south bank to arrive at the Kremlin and St Basil Cathedral on the Red Square! Like in St Petersburg, a lot of wedding picture sessions were going on around these monuments. We also explored one of the most popular pedestrian area: Old Arbat Street which happen to be empty and not very lively.The weather was not too bad on that day and we could enjoy a few beers outside the Bolshoi Theater as it is commonly done by locals.
The food in Russia is very similar to what we know in Latvia, thus we didn't have much enthusiasm to explore local cuisine and we mainly cooked in the hostel's kitchen.
On Saturday, we decided to visit the inside of the Kremlin to see the 12pm military parade which ended up being at 2pm for some reason. Not such a big deal when its sunny but it started to rain and it did not stop until the day after. Therefore, with pouring rain and not having really anywhere to go except the few Churches that are in the Kremlin, we ended up very wet and didn't even see the whole parade.
After that, very annoyed by the horrible weather, we decided to find indoor activities and the famous Jurij Nikulin Circus happened to be just a walking distance from the hostel. We really enjoyed that night
On our last day, before leaving the hostel Rudi decided to take cash out and the stupid cash machine swallowed the card without asking for anything. Luckily the guy from the hostel put pressure on that company to come quickly and we had the card back within an hour. Ouuff. Also, we noticed that not all cash machines accept cards with chip and pin. So it can be a very long hassle to get cash in Russia.
On the same day Rudi mixed up the train station for our first journey on the Transsiberian. Luckily, we arrived half an hour early and Agi can speak Russian (quickly when needed!). So we ran to find a taxi and then (quickly) Agi explained that we need to get to the other station in 20 minutes. And, the taxi driver loved it!!! He throw our bags in the car and with his unfinished cigarette drove 110km/hr, beeping and shouting when someone obstructed our way. Without seat belts, in a very bad state car we prayed... we arrived 10 minutes before the train departure. Although the driver saved our day and was soooo helpful, he wanted to overcharge us a huge amount. At first he asked for 1500 rubles (30 pounds) but we politely gave him 1000 rubles, he said nothing.