That first day
We didn’t manage 24 hours awake, but we did cross the 22-hours-mark. And we traveled by almost all possible means:
- Car: to the airport, pretty comfortable even though the driver showed a nonchalant disregard for traffic rules (speed limit, staying in only one line, …)
- Airplane: twice, oncefromStuttgart, Germany to Copenhagen,Denmark(cute little airplane, about 90 seats, very comfortable, great start and landing); second flight from Copenhagen to Moscow, Russia (11,2 km above ground, up to 880 km/h – it was a bigger plane and had little TVs with all these information).
- Train: aeroexpress from the airport to the city and later the Transsiberian railway
- Underground/Metro: within the cityof Moscow,great lookingunderground stations though in myopinion the carts should have gone considerablyslower, regarding their maintenance status
The first buildings we saw of Moscow were rather run down, if there hadn’t been lights on in some of them I would never have thought that people lived/worked there. Later on I noticed that most of the buildings we saw in Russia look that way. We took the metro from Belarus station to visit the Red Square with Kreml, Lenin’s tomb, Basilica (St. Basil’s Cathedral) etc.. They are all, very conveniently, located at roughly the same place. Thanks to a plan of the Moscow metro we had printed out before hand it was all fairly easy to find. And learning most of the letters of the kyrillic alphabet was a good move.
All the sights are very pretty, especially if you just saw all the run-down „normal“ houses. My favourite is the Basilica. As we only looked at them in passing I have close to no idea how old they are, who built them, what they represent or are actually there for, etc. But I am glad to have seen them. While in the centre of Moscow we finally bought our first food – very healthy and very Russian: McDonald’s. I had planned to visit a fast-food joint only later in our journey but there actually weren’t that many take away places and all the restaurants were really crowed. We took up extra space as we were carrying our backpacks as well. It was okay, the biggest revelation was actually that a “big” coke here is 0,8 l (as opposed to 0,5 l in Germany).
At about 7 p.m. we made our way to the train station to await the departure of the transsib and hopefully buy a few things to eat on the train. Unfortunately we weren’t able to locate any food store in the vicinity of the station but we had a nice time talking (sort of) to some nice people at the station. There was a little excitement with an unaccounted for plastic bag lying next to our seats. After the guard had kicked at it he decided to get some “specialists”: a man and a woman with a metal detector. Together the three of them discovered 3 full bottles of vodka in the plastic bag and took them away joking all the time. At half past eleven we finally boarded our train, unpacked and slept soundly till the next morning.