Sunday, August 20, 2006

Moscow - Москва

August 15th - 17th

We were both nervous wrecks on the train to Moscow from Kyiv, not many "westerners" come this way into Russia and we prepared for a rough 3am immigration/customs interview on the border. As usual, however, we had little to worry about and they only disappeared with our passports for ten minutes before returning them with a "Хорошо" (okay).

Thankfully, Sasha Metraphanoff met us from the train station and took us back to his place in a highrise inner-suburb. This was the view from our room.

Not the least excited to be in Moscow at this point; knackered from the train journey we slept for most of the day. Sasha later returned from work, fed us his superb Borshch and took us out on a short tour of the centre. Here's an evening shot of St. Basil's Cathedral.

Here are some pictures of me (for once) outside the Kremlin in the Red Square.

The next day was spent aquiring train tickets east - not an easy task by any means and inquiring how on earth we get our visa registered since we're staying at a private address and not a hotel. All tourists must register themselves within three days of arrival in every town/city they visit in Russia - hotels usually do this service for free. This turns out to be a royal pain in the arse and very difficult to do.....legally. To cut a long story short we resolved to cut our stay short and leave before the 3 day time limit ran out and booked tickets on the overnight train to Nizhny Novgorod on the next day.

Time was now quickly running out, so Sasha again very kindly took us on two more walking tours of Moscow.

Pictured here is a small section of the massive Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Sasha and I listen for the Nutcracker with the man himself, Tchaikovski.

Big thanks for Sasha for not only putting us up for two nights, being our personal tour guide and train ticket agent but also for cooking the best Borshch in Moscow.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tom, great to see you're alive and enjoying the trip. Great to see you in the spotlight:) for a change...tehe
p.s. Thanks for the Birthday giftssssssssssss, they were wonderful!!!! I'm going to email Volodia and Alyona this week to thank them as well. I have posted the Tak Yushenko signs on my room door to represent as I blast the Ukranian CD mix

Odysseus and Co. said...

just so you know, thanks to volodia's generosity, the orange revolution stuff was all worn during the revolution. they're not souveniers sold after the event.

Jerry said...

Tom's photo in front of the main gate of the Kremlin reminded me of a photo of the young Dostoevsky.