Keeping the blog updated daily is not possible: even if an internet connection seems to be possible from any post office (and it’s quite cheap, for 40 Rub/hour), some of the days we spend in the train. Which means that now I have to catch up with the last three days.
We spend the 26th in Moscow: clearly one can’t expect to visit such a place in just one day and in fact we had decided since the beginning to just consider it as a technical stop, just to get the tickets and
catch the first train. After a big breakfast (which also provided a couple of sandwiches for lunch) we went to the Kazanskiy vokzal (train station) to get the e-ticket we had ordered through the agency. I
don’t think a lot of people do what we are doing. At least judging from the expression of the lady at the counter. She was at first pleased to see a photo of her booth on the printouts we brought with
us, then surprised (and amused) by how many tickets we had, concentrated to get everything right and then plainly laughing when Susanne had to sign one after the other the sixteen receipts. Well, we’re as crazy as I thought: it’s reassuring.
As I said already it’s not like you can expect to visit Moscow in one day. Still, being there you should at least go to the red square and the Kremlin. And I always wanted (for some strange form of curiosity)
to visit Lenin’s mausoleum. For the red square no problem, the rest of the plan went a bit so so. Mental note: always check the opening times before going to a tourist attraction. Turns out that the mausoleum can only be visited between 10.00 and 13.00 and that the Kremlin is closed to the public on Thursday. Guess what: we arrived there on Thursday at 12.55. Result: a quick change of schedule was needed. Then we decided to go to see the Arbat, a very nice walk among cafes, souvenir shops and mainly a street market. The weather wasn’t great (it also rained a bit), which I guess explains why there were not too many
stands. Still, with the sun rays a singing lady appeared together with her guitarist husband and a number of artists started making portraits of the tourists. After a cake and a tea it was time to head back to the hotel to fetch the luggage. A word on Moscow metro: it’s by far the nicest I’ve ever seen. Instead of the usual tiling they used marble, some of the lights could easily figure in a theater and everything is kept really well. In spite of the huge number of people passing all the time, the place is extremely clean. No comparison with Paris or New York. We missed having escalators in the station close to our hotel, but that’s just because we were a bit out of town. The bigger and more central stations are pretty deep down and connected to the entrance by long and fast escalators where essentially everyone stands on his side to let people in a rush pass. In a word, remarkable. After a quick dinner at the hotel we took a cab to the
station. I’m not ashamed to say we were both excited at the perspective to start our actual journey when we entered the first train, from Moscow to Nizhny Novgorod…