Monday, November 15, 2010


Waking in Moscow after the night journey, we were greeted by the beautiful Marina at the train station. Taken back to our best hostel of the trip, Godzillas, we freshened up, before heading out to have breakfast, and then taking to this new city.

We wandered around the city on foot, making our way to the much anticipated Red Square. Was pretty exciting to be walking through the arch of Voskresensky Gate to this iconic sight, not fully knowing what to expect. The resplendent St Basil's, the wall of the Kremlin, and the vast space in front of them creating the square, were so amazing to take in.

The group of us explored the inside of St Basil's, with it's tiny towers and alter spaces, before we wandered past the river to get a look at the Square from the other end. We had lunch in back in the building on the east of the Square, which used to be the Upper Trading Rows, now the over-abundant GUM Department Store.

Marina then took us on the metro, through the crazily ornate and over-the-top stations, to Moscow State University on the Vorobyovy Gory. This building is massive, and is one of Stalin's Seven Sisters of the city - but it is also atop a hill overlooking the city sprawl.

The next day we explored the inside buildings of the Kremlin, which, for a country where religion was removed, has a bucketload of churches! The gold and silver inside these walls are gorgeous (see to the right), but excessive!

We then had Japanese for lunch, and walked through the financial, shopping mall area of the city, before reaching the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Destroyed and replaced by a swimming pool following the fall of the Soviet Union, this beautiful Russian Orthodox Church has been rebuilt since 1990 - and, in fact, as we walked through the lower levels, there were still painters there adding to the murals.

Preparing for our train trip the next day, before getting ready for a big night out, was an adventure itself in the supermarket, navigating between Russian script, random pictures on things, and some of us not paying much attention to prices. Dinner and drinks, Marina and a host of other Vodka Train Honchos joined us, and managed to include a magical walk through Red Square, before we reached an area of pubs and bars.

A massive night out, starting with vodka shots, and then endless dancing with the very enthusiastic Russians. The mainly student population in the pub Belinda and I spent the most time, were so very friendly, and such fun. Dancing to songs we haven't heard out for years, interspersed with random Russian pop, we all had such a great night!


  1. "Dancing to songs we haven't heard out for years"

    We found the same thing in Russia! It's like they heard pop music for the first time when the iron curtain came down, decided it sounded pretty cool and that they were going to stick with that.

    We heard Winds of Change like 10 times while we were there. Granted it probably has more significance for them.

  2. Ha ha. Mmmm-bop was the song that stuck in our head from this night....and some MJ. Random....and such fun!


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