Saturday, September 4, 2010
Moscow Moscow, see the little teddy bears, dancing in their underwears, ho ho ho ho ho Hey!
Mmmmmmmm roomy night train!Our nerves are somewhat heightened, our adrenalin pumping at a slightly faster speed than before and the strange place between excitement and fear is where I seem to be permanently residing at this point. We are on the night train, heading out of my Mother Country and into a much talked about, little understood land called Russia. We are taking extra, extra care to make sure we all write the same thing on our entry cards and wonder at what time in the night will we actually cross into this most inhospitable place and be forced to face unsmiling, un-English-speaking boarder police... As it turns out, we got sniffed out by cute little doggies around 11pm exiting Ukraine and were awoken and shocked into attempted conversation and passport checking around 3am. Jan couldn't stay awake, it was almost funny (if I wasn't so scared, I'm no good with authority) seeing her constantly drift off right in front of them. Needless to say, nothing we'd done of questionable morals in the past had stopped us from entering the county, and at about 8am, we alighted the train, bleary eyed and sleep-deprived to breath in the smokey air (peat bog fires), take on the heat, (hottest temperatures on record... ever!!!) admire the haze and wipe the crust out of our eyes to see: Mockba!
Stalin's metro station #1 Subtle advertising #2 Smoke haze The Kremlin from a bridge. The Kremlin with a K
Red Square Russian parking. Arty Russia Look closely at the add on the right hand side for a strippers... risque much?! Map reading... it only made sense upside down.
Stalin's metro station #2 This was what I personally named: The Park of fallen heroes where all the communist statues came to rest after being ripped down in the 90's. RIP Lenin, Stalin and the rest of you questionable men! The Hermatage. The Director was quoted as saying 'I wouldn't say the Hermatage is the best art gallery in the world, but there are no better'
The queue into the Hermatege. Yikes! Try reading this timetable... this was one of many, many moments of carylic confusion where we were forced to use a mixture of Russian, English, Pictionary and Sherades to book our next train tickets. We did it though and always felt a sense of achievement upon completion. Stalin's metro stations #3 Starlin's metro stations #4 Beautiful Moscow The River This was a fabululous art gallery that was very 'Berlin'. The Jimi Hendrox blues bar... great spot, I felt like I was in Chicago! My first (and only) Russian date. 'Vadim' took me and my 3 escorts across the river to a place that tranlates as: 'not boring garden' for a spot of 'Hustleing' a dance style not unlike swing and a little bit of dirty. He made me go around the corner from our onlookers to practice until he felt I was ready and then dragged me back to 'perform' for them. The whole experience was very, very different! Verical (well barrel-like) garden Four travellers, the moon and our mate Stalin!