Our expectations for Moscow were low, not because we had heard bad things but just we were very much oblivious to what Moscow and Russia as a whole had to offer. As we were only able to get a transit visa we had little more than 48 hours to form an opinion.
Wow! Just wow!
Moscow is an amazing city!
We exited the train we had called home for the past 6 days and walked about 500 meters until we found a subway station. The metro is an amazing place, steep escalators take you deep underground under vast archways, high ceilings covered with intricate designs and chandlers. The walls and floors are marble, halls are wide and people aren’t pushy… Welcome to Europe.
Following the instructions to our hostel we found it on a very busy street rather easily and were somewhat surprised by a leggy woman who answered the door. Normally the hostel staff are casual, this one was anything but, in healed knee high boots she looked down on Will. Sam was going to feel small here.
Once we had dumped our bags and grabbed the first real shower we had had in six days we headed out to explore. One of the first things we noticed was how noisy the streets were. The next thing we noticed was how different the city looked, after 30 months in Asia architecture looks a bit same same, but Moscow’s architecture is amazing and diverse and we found ourselves going “wow! Look!”
With some exploring under our belts we grabbed some grub from the local supermarket, now this might not sound like good food but when you have been eating pot noodles and McDonald’s for months real cheese, real bread, real meat, real beer and even real pie, are all things that make kiwis smile. We returned to our hostel and gorged until we fell asleep. Oh yeah!
Now due to unforeseen circumstances we had to move hostels the next day, sux!
So day two saw us lug our packs across town and then attempt to follow the instructions on how to get to the hostel. They read; 1. exit the subway “which exit there are about?” You will be by McDonald’s and Bennetton, go down this street, ” these stores are on pretty much the corner, which street do we go down?” It followed on like this for half a dozen directions. The last being “go past the wonderland shop we be in archway”. Sam gave up and asked a man who pointed us in the right direction, we were greeted with a “you can’t check in till 2” comment and so we agreed to return at two on the dot to check in. This meant we had several hours to chill and get to know the area. We walked and walked and discovered many amazing buildings, amazing architecture and more tall people. The city is full of surprises.
Once we were checked in and sorted out we headed out again this time in the other direction and found ourselves in red square, wow! We had not planned to go to red square until the next day but our legs had different ideas.
As we looked around we were both wide eyed with huge smiles. Everywhere we turned brought another amazing site, the architecture was so ornate and beautiful. Our favourite site must be the colourful and stunning St. Basils Cathedral reminding us of a over-the-top cake.
The next day we had a great breakfast of muesli and yoghurt provided by our B & B and headed once more to red square and the Kremlin.
Kremlin means fortress. Inside high thick walls it housed many buildings, we knew there were only a few we had wanted to see but what we found was amazing. Inside the walls are temples, churches, museums and even an armoury. (Well, 2 armoires, but one is still in use and strictly off limits). Each building housed more and more treasure; artwork, sculpture, jewellery and clothing. Just incredible!
We spent our last few hours enjoying a meal from the local supermarket complete with salmon, salad, fresh bread and great beer.
Tomorrow we head to Rome 🙂