Thursday, May 3, 2007

Mastering the Moscow Metro

Good Day.

We awoke this morning after a surprisingly restful and cozy sleep in our somewhat shabby room. Much to our surprise it was snowing. That's right, snowing. Fortunately the snow did not last long and it was atmospheric; it IS Russia after all, and it wouldn't feel right without a little snow.
Moscow Metro Station

We ventured onto the Metro (the subway) today to transport ourselves to Red Square. It was quite an adventure, but one, i am pleased to say was without incident. Of course, none of the ticket sellers spoke English, so we had to rely on our rough and rudimentary Russian. Amazingly, we were able to purchase our tickets and made it to our destination. I must note, first of all that the signs in the Metro are entirely in  Cyrillic. I must also comment on the stations themselves which are quite ornate and extremely clean; some of the stations had chandeliers, other had stained glass and sculptures.

me at St. Basil's, Red Square, Moscow

We arrived in Red Square and were greeted by St. Basil's Cathedral, which is magnificent, so much so that it does not seem real. We wandered around the area and visited numerous churches, a former residence of the Romanovs, and the site of the (former) KGB, which, strangely is right across the street from the world's largest toy store.
Also, at Red Square, we witnessed a curious sight: hundreds of Russian soldiers lined up like, well, soldiers participating in what appeared to be a military ceremony. We couldn't communicate with anyone to find out what it was, but there was solemn singing and men in uniform.
At some point the sun came out and it was actually beautifully warm...for about 20 minutes.
My great moment of triumph came when i stumbled upon a shop selling candy, coffee, tea, wine, and.....cigars! Despite the fact that the sales people didn't speak English, i successfully made my purchase. Victory!!
Tomorrow we head to the Kremlin, where, sadly, Lenin is unavailable for viewing. [insert our pouting faces here] That;s right, the old guy had better things to do apparently. Truthfully, I don't know why his tomb isn't open, but it is closed until the 15th. Tomorrow night we head to the Bolshoi to see the ballet.

That's all. Happy trails,
dale & lou 

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