Must...Crush...Capitalism

Moscow Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 37 › view all entries
Buildings outside Red Square

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).

Plaza beside Red Square
My cash depleted, I finally arrived at the Trans-Siberian hostel, where I was met with friendly English-speaking Russians who helped me unload all my gear from the taxi and hooked me up with a nice bed.

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.

Monument to the hero cities
There was a McDonald's right outside Red Square and many Russians seemed to like eating there. It's remarkable how Westernized things are in Moscow right now. I also saw President Putin wandering around and shaking people's hands, but he was charging for pictures, so I think he may have been an imposter. On my last evening in the city, I went to see a rock band performing for free in a pedestrian passageway under the road. I had no idea what they were singing about, but it was a fairly entertaining way to spend a chilly Moscow night.

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.

casey says:
It's great to have some pictures!
Posted on: Oct 18, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Buildings outside Red Square
Buildings outside Red Square
Plaza beside Red Square
Plaza beside Red Square
Monument to the hero cities
Monument to the hero cities
Police were everywhere in Moscow
Police were everywhere in Moscow
Hanging out with Jorje, a fellow t…
Hanging out with Jorje, a fellow …
St.Basils
St.Basil's
View down the river
View down the river
Moscow
photo by: eefab