I took a third class ‘plaskart’ to Moscow, which was about a third of the price of a second class ‘kupe’ ticket and a lot more interesting. Within 20 minutes of boarding I’d bumped into the Australians I’d met in Irkutsk and a Scottish girl who had shared a yurt in Mongolia with the Japanese people I’d been with at Lake Baikal. As there’s a single route across Siberia this sort of thing is bound to happen, and I wasn’t particularly surprised when I found those same Japanese people (and others too) again when I checked into the hostel, nor when I bumped into the Australians and the Scottish girl again.
My expectations of Moscow itself were a little off the mark, though. The police failed to stop me and both the hostel and the food were not quite as expensive as I’d been expecting, though neither were by any means cheap. I was still pretty sick, so unable to have much fun, but still managed to see Red Square, The Kremlin, The Cathedral, The Arbat, etc, etc. I even went to see Lenin. he’s looking well.
And speaking of dead Russian leaders, it was while I was there that Yeltsin died. Nobody seemed very bothered – he didn’t seem to be very popular, for understandable reasons, though not unpopular enough for anyone to be celebrating. I should really have stuck around for the funeral, but inertia seemed to be dragging me to St Petersburg.
The photo everyone takes when they come to Moscow.
Red Square was always empty because it was blocked off. Nobody seemed to know why. I could have asked the police I suppose.
This is GUM – where the bread queues used to be. Now strictly no riff-raff.
A big cannon.
Inside the Kremlin, one of the three cathedrals.
The cathedral where I would have seen Yeltsin’s funeral if I’d been there.
Street artist in the Arbat. Why this old lady decided to draw a picture of Syd Barrett I really can’t say.
Very cool building, don’t know what it is.
The metro system was fairly impressive, but hard to take good photos of.
Ominous clouds hanging over Gorky Park (which turned out to be mainly a closed funfair).