Where modern graffiti got it's start
Trip Start Oct 07, 2010
43Trip End Mar 13, 2011
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Arriving into the city, architecture is stunning but wow, what a big city, the largest in Europe. Having a bit of a cold and it being so cold, the first night was just a foray into the subway system, where I quickly learned it was acceptable for two people to use one ticket or jump over the turnstile entirely to avoid paying, all this within plain sight of scarily clad men in uniform
First tourist destination: the Red Square. Mother Nature decided to make our visit extra special with a hailstorm. St Basil's was colorful as expected and the one place we visited inside. Lenin's mausoleum was closed but the blingy shopping center, the GUM, was a warm respite and likely where the Oligarchs shop if nothing else. McDonald's by the Kremlin in the Cyrillic alphabet was hyper capitalism at it's finest along with the usual tacky souvenirs. Who wouldn't love a girly pink ushanka with the soviet symbol anyway?
We searched for an Azerbeijini and Armenian restaurant without luck
Other observations: there seem to be a lot of young, pretty women with older, larger men, money talks in this city. And contrary to what we were told about Moscow nightlife always going off, we did not go out as only Friday nights are happening. Too bad as the clubs are in factories, we saw one especially with massive bling on the outside.
Our last day in Moscow was spent visiting the site of the 1980 Olympics, the ones banned by Western countries due to the Afghan war. In true style, there was a random golf range which was obligingly used, though felt weird as it was so empty., I was under the impression we were going to the Novodevichy Cemetery. Eventually, we got there after a round of spoon tossing as witnessed by the most famous Olympic symbol, Misha, the mouse looking thing
Onwards to the first leg of the Trans-Siberain railroad journey. First up: a 20 hour overnighter to Perm, a city that would not exist had it not been for the railroad, which Dr. Zhivago also calls home.