Moscow Madness

Trip Start Jul 19, 2008
Trip End Sep 29, 2008

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Flag of Russian Federation  , Central Russia,
Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hello everyone
It has been a fun filled few days in Moscow so i best start from the beginning...
We arrived the Monday at 4:45 in the morning. In a dazed state, we managed to stagger across Moscow and finding our hostel down a back alley. The hostel is very nice and full of awsome people. Anyways we couldn't check in till 12 so we introduced ourselves to the Moscow metro, which is confusing as hell. We managed to get to the north end of the city and pick up our train tickets for the Mongolian-Chinese border crossing. After we checked in, we headed to Red Square. The square is huge and full of tourists so it was hard to get decent photos of the Kremlin, but we somehow managed. We went into St Basil's cathedral, which to be honest was alot smaller than i thought it would be, but it was still awsome inside. We then went to the State history museum at the other end of Red Square, but we were so tired we were falling asleep in there!
The next day, we tried to go to the Kremlin but it was closed due to some Olympic team conference or something so we went to the Pushkin Museum, which was awsome (full of Greek, roman and other fine arts). We then went to the Church of Christ the Saviour which was amazing (the outside was impressive but the inside blew us away, no pics as cameras were not allowed!). We then trekked down a long street past a huge monument of Peter the Great and ending in Gorky Park. Peter wanted to come here as it is mentioned in a song called the winds of change by Scorpions. The park was pretty cool but the real highlight was the an amusement park inside which looked like it was from the1960's (and it looks like it hasn't changed at all since then!!!).
The following day, we wen t to see the man himself, Lenin! We waited in the que for about half an hour before being ushered into his crypt. He doesn't look really i reckon, more like a waxwork figure (probably due to the amount of chemicals used to keep him from decaying!). After that, we went into the Kremlin! You could only visit the Church's inside as all government buildings were off-limits (and the police would blow a whistle and move you back into the tourist zone if you tried to go somewhere you're not meant to be!). The Kremlin was pretty cool and after a few hours in there we went back to the hostel. That night was the highlight as we went a football game, CSKA Moscow vs Zenit St Petersburg at the Luzhniki Stadium (same place the champions league final was!). The game was okay, ended goalless but the atmosphere was unbelievable! The crowds were going insane, chanting and hurling abuse at the Zenit fans across the end of the stadium. Towards the end, several flares went off and they were chucked at the security guards (The police presence was insane, literally 2 cops for every fan! so no violence was going to happen). The metro ride home was interesting as the trains were crammed with CSKA fans and they were yelling, jumping up and down (we though the train was going to come off the rails but it didn't luckily).
Finally, today we went to Novospassky Monastery. The monastery was pretty cool, some old Church's and buildings, several nuns walking around in the classic black robes (they refused to be photographed for some reason!) After that, we did a tour of the metro system, as some of the stations looked like palaces, seriously they do (see the pics).
Anyways, thats all of Moscow (or what we've done anyways) so were now going to get the night train to Nizhny Novgorod. I don't think there is Internet there so I'll have to wait till the next city.
Hope everything and everyone is well, take care y'all.
Mark and Peter
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