Moscow April 9th - 18th, 2009
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1 a.m. last minute packing!
3:45 a.m. taxi arrives to take us to Manchester Airport
When we arrive at the airport at 4:45, it is eerily quiet. Check-in takes less than a minute and we’re through security within 2! We treated ourselves to the now traditional Burger King breakfast of Bacon Double Cheeseburger, chips and diet coke.
Our first flight, to Frankfurt, boards on time at 6:30, but leaves 40 minutes late due to the auxiliary engine at the rear of the plane failing, something to do with a “cold start” and Servisair unplugging the ground electricity! What a good start! With a 60-minute changeover in Frankfurt, we started to get a little worried, for ourselves and for our luggage. In flight, we managed to claw back some time and landed only 20 minutes late. Thankfully, the shuttle bus taking us to the terminal dropped us off right by the gate where our connecting flight to Moscow was leaving from.
The flight to Moscow was uneventful, the highlight being the in-flight meal! (Anything would have been better than the stale cheese roll we had en route to Frankfurt, to be honest) We had a little cheese salad, “beef” in sauce, rice, peas and carrots, a bread roll and butter, a piece of camembert, chocolate mousse and a Lindt chocolate bunny! How civilised!!!
Whilst on the plane we had to fill in some customs documentation, which wanted to know the exact same information several times over.
Buying tickets in the metro stations is an ordeal, so if possible, I would suggest you buy in bulk.
We managed to find our way to our hotel using the map they’d e-mailed. Unfortunately, I managed to get covered in creosote from the freshly tarred stairway, which was nice… We were on the eighth floor of the building, which for all intents and purposes was a shared apartment, rather than a hotel. There are four bedrooms, a shared bathroom and toilet, a kitchen and a lounge area with computer and tub chairs.
The room itself is big enough with two single beds (bedecked in bizarre colourful bedding), a lamp, ironing board and iron, coat rack, small table and chair and a bedside table. The floor is wooden and the window opens very wide, which is good if you’re sharing with a smoker as I was. The curtains were flimsy, so if you are a light sleeper that might pose a problem! There is no wardrobe, so you have to live out of your suitcase essentially. Also, there is no TV, but who comes to Moscow to watch telly? The shower is powerful and hot; the beds and mattresses seem new and from Ikea. The building is very quiet considering it is on one of Moscow’s busiest thoroughfares, Tverskaya Ulitsa.
After dumping our luggage, we decided to explore the local area, which consists mainly of high-end fashion stores and cafés, restaurants and bars.