Katherine's Trip 2005/06 travel blog

We only had a very short time in Moscow so we decided to make the most of it by stepping off the train and getting straight down to sight seeing (personal hygiene already slipping somewhat)We went straight to see Lenin, and I am ashamed to admit that I wasn't really sure what exactly we were going to see. I was expecting some sort of statue and memorial...So anyway, after briding the army (the Russian police are incredibly corrupt and bribing is very common - great if you want to jump the queues!) we were ushered through to a very empty Red Sqaure (they close it when Lenin's receiving visitors! )As we approached the black building (his mausoleum I discover later!!) the atmosphere became incredibly creepy. It was almost pitch black inside and going from the bright sunshine outside we were pretty much blinded for a few mintues. So much so that I let out a little shriek when the mannequin of a Russian guard started moving and gestured with his hand for us to go left....nothing else just a little twitch and then he was still again. We stumbled on down some stairs into the cold and were met by another silent gurad who motioned us to go wight and then another a bit further on who moptioned us once more. Finally we entered the room where Lenin lay and as soon as I saw him I remembered seeing it in books and felt a bit stupid for not realising what I would see. Anyway, from here on in I was morbidly fascinated with how plastic he looked, and just the whole scenario generally. There were guards watching over him and it was really cold and dark and just ocerall very creepy. WE were not allowed to stop as we walked round we had to keep moving and obviously no photos so we emerged about 5 minutes later back out into the bright sunshine - It was a very surreal experience !!

On the second day we went to the Kremlin which was incredibly expensive to go in so we didn't bribe and instead had to stand in a two hour queue (obviously now that the shoe was on the other foot I was livid with anyone who I saw pushing in in front of us and turned into a complete British tourist shouting loudly "why do they think they are so special that they shouldn't queue like the rest of us?" ...it took Geoff to roll his eyes and remind me that we had "pushed in" yesterday which of course sent me into a minor huff) Because the queues were so bad we only paid for a grounbs ticket which was actually great. The most amazing part for me was the cathedral square where there are abpout 9 nine diffferent churches all built by different Tsars in a small space which is visually quite amazing.

Tonight we leave for the train into Siberia ...

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