Moscow Travel Blog› entry 3 of 37 › view all entries
After a very nice flight from London on British Midland Airways (cheap too: $190), I arrived in Moscow. I wandered through customs with my giant bike box and took the shuttle train to the city centre. After disembarking, I found myself with a huge box and several smaller bags which I somehow had to drag to my hostel. I attempted to lift it all at once, but the bike box is as big as a bed and it wasn't happening. Some chap with a cart came up to me and I assumed he was offering me help carrying my stuff. I should have known that by putting my box on his cart, I was carrying out a business transaction. I eventually ended up (over)paying him 500 rubles, which is about 20 bucks. He did call my hostel for me and hooked me up with a taxi with enough room to fit the bike box (another 1000 rubles).
When I got a chance to explore Moscow on foot, people kept stopping me on the street and asking questions. When I returned their queries with a blanks stare, they realized I was a foreigner. Apparently I look like a Russian. I wasn't really sure what there was to do in Moscow, so I ended up wandering around the Kremlin three days in a row. Unfortunately, there was some sort of military tattoo going on that week, so no one was allowed to enter Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral or Lenin's Mausoleum (i.e. the most famous parts). I did enjoy wandering around outside the walls though, past the memorials from World War II and along the river.
Although this was only a temporary stop in my travels, I was fortunate to quickly make friends with many nice people at the hostel, and we enjoyed watching 80's music videos while chatting and playing cards in the common room. The staff at the hostel were also very nice and helped me navigate my way through the Russian railway booking system. I am very grateful to one person in particular, Natasha, who even drove me to the train station with my big bike box and helped me get it loaded onto the train as I embarked on the world-famous Trans-Siberian railway.