Moscow, WOW, what a city, what a country........
Amazing, when I was 12,and poring over maps dreaming about all the places in the world I would like to travel eg. Istanbul, Cairo, Jerusalem, Tokyo, etc I never considered Moscow. Perhaps I realised quite rightly so in those days that it was not possible, or perhaps I was afraid of the Commies .... Ha ha
Moscow is an amazing city, fascinating with its magical buildings, history abounds, heaps of atmosphere and quirkiness astounds, fairly modern, friendly (not withstanding massive language barrier) and extraordinarily clean. In fact the water truck sprays firstly streets and then pavements with pressure hoses morning and night, and unfortunately unless you are alert and quick enough, you are likely to be sprayed too.
We have packed so much into these 3 days (so what's new I hear Mum say). We Arrived to a cold and wet afternoon in Moscow, could not read or understand anything (except the miserable weather), and not even the toilet sign (I tried to fight our way into an electricity room at Maccas imagining that the Acrylic sign was Russian for toilet,). We had dinner at a Turkish restaurant as it was the only food we recognised, ha the joys and challenges of travelling.
The weather cleared up for the rest of our time in Moscow which always makes travelling easier, it was cold but dry and sunny. We went on a free walking tour with an extremely energetic and knowledgeable Russian guide (Cameron called her the Pocket Rocket as she was so tiny, but so energetic and enthusiastic that she made the Eveready Energising Bunny Rabbits look lethargic). We fell in love with Moscow on the walking tour, our pocket rocket had so many stories about her family, the city, the culture and all told with great humour and of course enthusiasm. She also told us where to find good Russian places to eat, toilets and many other valuable tips to ensure we got the most out of our visit to this fine city which however only speaks Russian (of which we do not).
We went on a river cruise which provides a different view of the city and which was relaxing, we have wandered around the Red Square, been into The Kremlin, Museums, Lenin's Mausoleum (he was looking exceedingly relaxed and if I am ever put on show after I kick the bucket, I do hope they spruce me up as well as they did Lenin, clean fingernails and perfectly combed hair), danced outside the Bolshoi Theatre, visited St Basil's Cathedral, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, Cathedral of the Assumption, State Armoury (wealth like you can't imagine, diamond crowns, jewellery, clothing etc soooo interesting) Alexander Gardens, watched the guard change at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (see photo of Soldier goose stepping ) enjoyed the Gum market (which is now a famous shopping centre and beautiful building) and so much more during our time in Moscow. The highlight tonight was seeing the whole of the Red Square lit up after dark as well as many other parts of the city.
We were also blown away by the extraordinarily beautiful Metro stations (oh Sydney Rail System, you have an awful long way to go), each station had a different theme and all were so bright and cheerful (I have so many photos of the Metro).
Wine is too expensive to drink here (and in fact Moscow generally has been quite expensive (take heed for when you come to St Petersburg in November, Nadine and James), the food is really different to what we are used to but quite tasty when you order the right type, pancakes are good as are pastries, some salads, borscht is quite good too.
People are generally friendly and helpful. We have joined our Intrepid Group now and they are a great bunch of people, a nice small group again, 8 Aussies (I enjoy travelling with Aussies, really easy going and fun) and one German and a young Hungarian guide who speaks excellent Russian, is well informed and organised.
So all good, ready and rearing to start touring through Russia tomorrow morning (off to Suzdal - 5 hour mini bus trip) after a wonderful time in mind boggling Moscow.
I was definitely not born for one corner of this earth, I reckon the whole world is my native land as I travel to awaken.