We arrived in Moscow in the early morning, before most people were awake. Made our way to our hostel (which was someone’s house), via the Metro. Moscow metro is unusual and beautiful decorated with chandeliers and mosaics. We only had one day in Moscow before catching the Trans-Siberian train, so to make the most of it we met a local guide who showed us around the city centre. We visited a Russian Orthodox church, the Red Square, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Victory Park to see the changing of the guards. We stopped in a quirky shopping centre for lunch and tried some homemade Kvass, a rye bread drink that the guide called Russian coke.
After lunch we all separated. A few of us attempted to see the Kremlin and Lenin’s mausoleum but both were closed, so we opted to do some souvenir shopping and people watch in Victory Park. People watching in Moscow is fascinating. In the space of a couple of hours we saw at least 15 couples having their wedding photos done (it was a Friday) and at one point three of the couples were just a few metres from each other. Women sightseeing and poising for sexy photos in very high heels. Men charging for photos with their pet monkey, bear or giant lizard. A film crew and actors dressed up as Russian politicians.
After our chilled afternoon we went out for dinner, traditional music and dancing at the Belarus restaurant. I had the beef stroganoff with bulgar wheat washed down with a beer. I don’t think I realised until then that stroganoff was Russian. We took a slow walk back to our hostel house via the lit up Saint Basil’s cathedral, the river and a pub. All in all a brief, interesting introduction to Moscow.
Last Stop: St Petersburg
Next stop: Transiberian Railway