53 Moscow

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Aug 28, 2013

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Flag of Russia  , Central Russia,
Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Day 53

 12 June 2013


 My room is very large, I think it was formally was used as the lounge as beside a double bed it has a lounge suit ,large table and two sideboards full of books and the usual knick knacks plus an array of cards from all over the  world, which I take,  have been sent by people who were previous occupants of the room.  I would like to tell a few things about the Russian apartment blocks.On entry to this building you have to insert a special 10 cm long pin into a round hole which opens the steel outside door. After entry I get  an open case lift to take me to the seventh floor; I then open (with a very strange looking key) a vinyl covered steel door  that brings me into a small hallway and use a third special key to enter yet another vinyl covered steel door to enter the apartment

  The way they have arranged the buildings of these 9 story apartment blocks is somewhat unique. (for the exercise, say they run east-west) Along the major road they seem to be very long as they are connected by arches. The arches have wrought iron gates which are closed except for a smaller gate were people can walk through.
 From time to time a gate is open leading to the streets behind the buildings to allow cars into the area, they lead to many small car parks. Once you have past under the gate you see other high-rises perpendicular to the one along the major road. Further across there are more apartment blocks facing the same way (east-west) as the one you just walked through. In the open space in the middle they have created beautiful mini parks with large shady trees and play areas for the children. Park benches everywhere and many nice flower beds. 
  The lower levels of the flats have some shops here and there.  All in all they created by building this way a quiet  and  a save area to relax or play, although it is right next to a very busy road.Being so for north the sun set at about 10 PM and rises again at 3.30 AM.  I must have been knackered yesterday  as while writing at the dinner table I feel asleep. I thought I just lay down for a minute on top of my bed only to wake up at 4 am with the sun shining through the window.  In my room there is a desk with a computer; yesterday my host used it to register my details with the police (big brother).  I had asked if I could use it as it was about time I checked my email as the last time I had access was 6 days ago. After turning it on, all I could see was all and only in Russian and although the keyboard displayed two types of character what every I tried I could only see Cyrillic letters appearing on the screen. So I will have to wait.

 At nine a was picked up by a sixteen year old Christina who could speak reasonable English; she would take me to my guide. Meanwhile it had started raining; however the subway was luckily only 300 meters away. She showed me how to get a ticket and then we went down the longest escalator I have ever seen. It took all but 5 minutes to reach the underground train track level. The girl told me that this was the deepest station in Moscow as this suburb  is slightly elevated from central Moscow and they constructed the underground train system in such a way that all tracks run exactly horizontal.  As has been the case with other subways the electronic board inside the carriage shows the position of the train and the next station, but only in Russian; also all announcements are only made in Russian.We arrived in a most beautiful underground station somewhere near the Red Square but now had to wait for the guide. I didn’t mind the waiting as this created an opportunity to have a look around. Instead of long tiled sterile platforms I had more of a feeling of having arrived in a museum. Bronze artwork adores all corners of the hallway. Anyway the pictures tell the story. We gave up waiting and entered the street level; we were close to the Red Square. Apparently the guide had trouble getting to us and now I could see why. There was a lot of Police everywhere and the entire Red Squire was blocked off due to some festivities. Today was “Russia Day”, a public holiday and the anniversary of the birth of the new Russia which started in the early nineties after the changes made by President Gorbatshov and later President Yeltsin. We walked over to the famous Bolshoi Theatre and waited until the guide arrived with a mid 50 years old Australian couple in tow, The guide, a girl of 25 just finished her exams and is now a doctor she explained. She will start work in a hospital in Sept and has been a guide for several years to earn some money while studying and a way to practice English.   Of course the program for this day had been walk around the Red square and all that is there to see, but due to festivities we looked at alternatives and other buildings or items of interest.
  After a few hours we ended up in a very long mall with a lot of artist either engaged in painting of playing music. 

 We had some lunch after which I walked back into the direction of my address of accommodation. I had noticed that the trip in the subway had taken a fairy long time between the four stops we had made so I knew I faced a long walk. My reference point was the Roman type arch in the middle of the road which did seem to come up for a very very long time. I could not check my map as to location was off the map, the problem was I did not know by how much. (After I arrived “home” I checked on another map and found that I had covered a distance of 10 km from the mall.) About 200 meters before “home” I notice activities in the park 500 meters past my turnoff. I could hear music in the distance, so what is another km there and back. Again a lot of Police on the street and security checks. The singers were obviously known to the crowd as many sang and clapped with the music.

  Back in my room I sat on my bed, then laid down and found myself waking up at 4.30 am still fully dressed on top of the bed. I wondered why. Me..Tired?.....nah!  seriously,I think I must have walked about 15 km in all, today.
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karel on

Dan was me wel heel erg moe! Weer fantastische verhalen en geweldige foto's.

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