Trip Start Jul 11, 2006
Trip End Jun 28, 2007

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Flag of Russia  ,
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hey all,

I arrived in Moscow a few days ago. This place is HUGE! I have tried to get to a few of the famous sites. ON the first day I checked out some crazy market where all the locals go which was kind of cool. It had loads of old soviet army stuff there and I tried some tasty pastries from the street sellers.
I spent most of the second day very frustrated; I have to pick my trans-Siberian ticket up from an agency here, so I headed over to the address I was given. After about 2 hours of walking round in circles and being rudely ignored by several people who I asked for help, I finally found the place. The difficulty is that all the road signs are in Cyrillic and my map has the English equivalent making it very difficult to find places. Anyway, I went to this agency and they didn't have my ticket- PROBLEM! After a few phone calls by the agent I found out that the agency with whom I booked my ticket told me to go to another place to pick the tickets up-fantastic! After getting directions (The second building on the right when you come out of the metro), I headed off on another headless chicken challenge. The metro station I got off at has about 8 exits so I spent about 2 hours walking round in circles again! arrgggg! I ended up calling the agent on the phone and asking for directions. What a pain in the ass! I eventually got them, but it was now gone 4 so I went in search of a lonely planet guide for China. I checked out 6 bookshops all miles apart but I eventually found one! All in all, a day of constantly walking and aching legs. Nothing a few cheap strong (16%) Russian beers wont cure!

Day 3: I headed down to see the tomb of Lenin. The queue for this was pretty long but luckily the Swedish guy who I met in St Petersburg was already half was down so I jumped in. After a 45 minute wait we got in and quickly ushered around the tomb. I think it's a complete conspiracy; he looks like all the models in Madame Tusauds! Completely waxy and not real whatsoever! By the time I got out the queue for the Kremlim was a few hundred metres long so I didn't bother going in, tomorrow instead. I don't know why the Russian police make it so difficult for people to get in that place; they have about 6 metal detectors but only use two. It's not as if they are short of police to man them in this place, its swarming with them.

Day 4: Got up early and headed to Kremlin, not that I particulary wanted to go there, but because 'I should'. I guess it would be stupid to leave Moscow without checking out Kremlin. I got student discount in (150ruples) but then everywhere else inside you have to pay extra. It was pretty boring to be honest and not somewhere I'd go again in a hurry. I spent about 1 hour walking around; there are only so many Cathedrals I can see in one week, so I left. I'm off to some war muesum later on today where they have tanks, planes and hellicopters- no that's my kind of museum!

Train tonight at 00:34, Irkutsk here I come!

Hope you're all well.

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