The BIG Smoke

Trip Start Dec 12, 2010
Trip End Jan 27, 2011

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Flag of Russia  , Central Russia,
Saturday, January 1, 2011

We've found as we go that you tend to meet some really cool people on the train and train #37 from Ekateringburg to Moscow was no different. Its only a wee hop (one day) really but still its nice to have good company. To start with we had this massive(he was big) Basket Baller in our cabin who was a chemical engineer for a career, he played do-rag with us for a bit and then finished with this classic line, "I want tea", we loved it. But he was hoping off at Perm, so we thought we'd have the room to ourselves for the night, yus!! But no, a couple joined for the rest of the trip which turned out to be totally awesome!! We had some really awesome yarns with them (the lady spoke some english and we could pictionary the rest) and time really flew buy. They were heading to moscow for new years as well so we picked there brains for ideas of what to do and where to go, super helpful. And in the end they really saved our bacon. We got on really well with them ad\nd they were going to give us a hand getting on the metro so we were walking with them away for the train, firstly we get stopped by the police who need to see our passport, the lady says don't worry theyre just on a power trip can't really go wrong. But then!! we walked a bit further when Michael the guy says, Monkey Shrine Monkey Shrine, the name of our tour organisation. We had arrived 2 days early and there was never a plan for someone to come meet us but we had just walked right past a guy with our names and the firms logo. he actually had our onwards train tickets and gave us a lift to our hostel so i don't know what we would have done without our gardan angel but man we were stoked, Praise the Lord for who you meet on the train. We said goodbye to the couple and parted ways, but we're getting good at that its kinda what you have to do all the time here.

On arrival at the Hostel we we're stoked that we got a lift, finding the place wasn't the hardest but let me tell you the door lookes so dodgy i doubt either of us would have thought it was a hostel, let alone ring the bell. But it is and so far its looked after us quite well. since we'd changed our plans a bit there was a bit of confusion upon our arrival and being new years no one wanted to try sort anthing out so we were given a room and we'd sort out the details later., classic Russia :) We set ourselves up in our tiny bedroom, its pretty much two beds and a toilet, but it does the job. Hadn't manged to shower on Ekateringburg so it was massive shower time for each of us, such a good feeling, especially on new years eve, its great to be clean. Once we were all washed up it was off to the famous red square. We wandered all over the place and finaly got a bit of an idea of where we thought we needed to be, but getting there was going to be an issue. There was a bazilion police everywhere. I couldn't put a number on it but at the start there was easily more police than people, it was crazy. Not sure why it was necessary but it was definately annoying. All the access roads were blocked and you were getting stared down every few steps, we were quite lost. In the end we figured we were a far enough away we could try to metro there so we got in the metro line a bought a ticket. We were underground and trying to pick a train when we spotted this quite smart looking guy and willy thought we should ask him. So i walzted up and whipped out 'vi gavaritia pangliski' (do you speak english) and he reaplied 'well yes i do actually'. I was nearlly knocked off my feet, he spoke really well. In the end he said we were at the right station so needed to go nowhere, instead we should go back up and walk though this underground tunnel thing. I figured it was information bought for the price of a train ticket, well worth it. he was on the money and after a couple of security checks we made it to our destination, Red Square. We were a little bit premature arriving at 9 but all good. jumped in a line of cops to buy a coke and something for tea, wandered around a bit and about 10 we decided to huddle in the lee of this big fountain (it was snowing). then blow me down the girls next to us starts speaking english!! There is actually 2 girls there one from england and one from oz, so we hung out with them for 2 hours. It was pretty cold so we just did laps round the square but it ate up the time quick enough and we kept warm. Then it was new years. apparently they was 1.5 million people in Red square so it was great to be part of it but the funny thing was the police cordened some areas off. Since we got there early we were in the prime position and had heaps of room, while 10 metres away on the other side of the line it was packed as. Fireworks were chioce and the atmosphere was amazing, pretty cool way to bring in the new year. Ended up heading back to the girls hostel where out of no where our ozzie mates were staying, they were out but it was mean to hear of them again. had a spot of champainge and then managed to call mom and dad!! Willy left a message and I got through but man it was awesome!! Super stoked, definately wrapped up a fantastic night. Got home about four and hit the sack strait away, HAPPY NEW YEAR FOLKS.

This morning we had a cheeky sleep in followed by a bit of a wander around the Ginormeous city that is Moscow. this place is huge!! today we were checking out the metro, they set this thing up and got some real hard out designers to decorate the things and its a real sight. We went aroud for hours. Its actually kinda tiring so by then end we we sore, tired and totally over train stations. We had to get some sort of fix so as we walked home we popped into the local maccers, ahhhh so good. Had a large Chicken and Bacon combo, exactly what the docter ordered. And that brings us to the current point in times. Cobs has expired in our room so i am maning the blog post. Thanks for reading, hope its interesting.

Over and out

dan and willy
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Steve Elms on

Good 2 hear from you guys and sounds like loads of fun. God Bless! Keep enjoying yourselves.

PS. Skux

Nate on

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you guys too!! So awesome going halfway round the world and still seeing God watching your back and putting the right people around when you need them. not to mention providing the good company :)
Shotgun a massive catchup when you get back dan! ss

Dan's Nan on

Wow!! What an amazing time and experience you are having.Am off to Pauanui tomorrow. Should be fun but can't compare with Russia!!Lol Nana

Lyds on

Sounds fantastic guys, great to read of your good times so often! Keep it up! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hope the year will be as good as those fire works were im sure! Boys (and rachelle) still off in the wilderness, come back in a couple of days.
peace xo

Alex(oz girl) on

Fab blog guys- here in St. P, very beautiful, and the metro is a breeze compared to Moscow. Can't wait to read next instalment! x

Andrey)* on

Hi! So I finally got to your blog, it is the same Andrey, who was riding with you in Irkutsk! According to your records, you are very happy with your ride! Waiting for you in St. Petersburg, please call!

78 Brightwater Flat on

Dan = Skux

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