Moscow April 9th - 18th, 2009

Moscow Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries



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.

We must watch those figures!


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.

What joy! At immigration, the queues moved quite quickly and with a minimum of hassle. We were stamped and waved through within a matter of minutes of joining the line. The baggage carousel was just firing us as we came through and our cases were the first off (because of our late arrival in Frankfurt no doubt). Domodedovo airport is huge, but the signposts for the Aeroexpress to downtown Moscow are clear. You buy tickets just before boarding (200 rb. = £4). Word of warning: the staff at the ticket desk do not (or claim not to) speak English, or any language but Russian for that matter, so be warned that you’ll need to be proficient in sign language! The trains from the airport are every half hour through most of the day and take approximately 40 minutes to reach Paveletskaya metro station in central Moscow. From here, you will need to figure out how to reach your accommodation. Ours was only 2 stops from here, so the journey wasn’t so difficult.


Buying tickets in the metro stations is an ordeal, so if possible, I would suggest you buy in bulk.

Single tickets are 22 rb., but the more you buy, the cheaper they become. (We each bought a card with 60 prepaid journeys to last us the 9 days and we still had 28 left at the end). The stations and trains are packed pretty much at any time of the day and the escalators become bottlenecked very easily (due to a strange custom of them closing one or more of the escalators off at rush hour and opening them again once it quietens down!) Be careful of the heaving, swinging down when entering or leaving a metro station. They are lethal and the Russians don’t instinctively look behind them before letting go.


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.

Free internet access was a godsend. There is also a washing machine, although by the looks of it, it hadn’t been used in many a month!


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.

We ate at a little self-service buffet around the corner, having meat soup and chicken schnitzel with boiled potatoes. The soup was nice, although a little frightening, having as it did various colours and textures of meat floating around in it, alongside olives and gherkins. The schnitzel was OK, albeit very greasy. The potatoes were cold. To clear our taste buds, we called off at a café for coffee and Sachertorte, which were both good, but incredibly expensive!



Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links
photo by: eefab