Visiting Red Square

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
Trip End Sep 01, 2007

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Flag of Russia  ,
Friday, October 20, 2006

Well I made it to Moscow on the night train, shared a 4 berth compartment with 3 men; one of whom gave me the bottom bunk as i was supposed to be in the top. It was fine but I didn't sleep at all. However, boxes of breakfast, comb, toothpaste etc were provided as part of the breakfast. Hot water on demand to go with the tea bag and coffee provided.
I had to find the Metro from the train station, (in wasn't connected|) and people were already rushing to work at 6 a.m. when I arrived, people lined up at the Metro for tickets, unbelievable that ealry in the a.m. Then I had to try to figure out which Metro to go to, all based on a map written in Cyrillic, and found the line, but counted the stops wrong and got off at wrong one. No one stops to help a wanderer with a backpack. I ended up asking a policeman all the while thinking 'this may be a stupid move' but he knew enough to give me perfunctory answers like 'go right through passage then upstairs then life'. I had to go over to another track. Anyway found my way to the right Metro statio nbut then had to find my way from the Metro to the hostel, in almost pitch black morning. After wandering around in the breaking daylight trying to find the right street I stopped and again thought where am I and looked up and there was the Godzilla's Hostel sign. Again hostels are nothing to write home about (but am doing it anyway, right?) - most have been relatively unclean unfortunately but the people great. Anyway check in is 1 p.m. and i was there at 7:30 a.m. so left my bags, went to have a proper breakfast and then did the below:
Seeing Red Square - the hostel is a 20-30 min walk from the Square but it took me hours as of course I got lost. The Square itself is blocked off during the day, for viewing Lenin's tomb, which I did. That involves checking your bag, going through a metal detector and guards along the way telling you to take your hands out of your pockets and keep moving (in Russian). He is a waxen figure, and it rather bizarre that people line up for it (it's free though). Then you must tour monuments to all the Russian leaders before making your way back to collect your bag etc. I toured the State Historical Musuem after that for several hours and St Basil's cathedral - a medieval building inside. Last night an Australian woman, ___ Smith from Manley  I met here and I went to the Bolshoi ballet 'Ronondo' which was performed in the substitute Bolshoi theatre as the real Bolshoi is being repaired. What a gorgeous facility and of course the ballet was wonderful, including the most exquisite costumes. It was a love triangle story. Today I am trying to book a train ticket for Riga Latvia, and will get on at 7 p.m. for the overnight trip arriving at 7 a.m. Haven't been able to find a hostel that is free for 2 nights, online but im sure i'll find something. I got up early this a.m. to get on the internet as seems there is always someone on the computer here at the hostel and there is a line up waiting to get on. I may have a city tour today to keep me occupied until the train tonight. I am in a dorm with 4 other women, one from BC, 2 from England and the Australian. very nice. Wil report from Riga. by the way, I didn't expect to like Moscow as much as I do. I find it is cleaner than Saint Petersburg, the streets and subway not as crowded, more space to look at the sky and to breathe. I am the first person who has compared the 2 cities and found Moscow better, go figure. bye
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