After a late night our body clocks were reset to 7am by our Chinese neighbours having a chatty breakfast at 7 and leaving the hostel at 8am promptly. Still, as we were awake we blogged and did some admin.
After fruit breakkie we wandered off into Moscow city centre which, thankfully, is smaller than St P. Our hostel is opposite the Police Academy and this morning there were loads of young, fresh faced police graduates everywhere. It wasn’t like in the films though, not one of them was laughing or joking.
Off to the State Museum which looked fascinating and full of interesting artifacts from throughout Russian history and we were looking forward to learning more (Guy) or trying to recall A level history lessons (Al) however our Russian language skills let us down dreadfully. So we wandered through like a couple of disinterested teenagers. The museum went thorough the same formula of other museums we have seen, that is stones, bones, metal tools, metal weapons, chain mail, cannons. The exhibits stopped at 1917. Nuff said.
Architecture of the rooms was lush, see below.
As the queue for Lenin had gone down we thought we would have a look at him, preserved, and so we trouped though the security checks (the usual metal detectors which go off every time and everyone ignores that fact) and in a long line of tourists we filed past a load of past leaders busts and important Russian personnel (all in Cyrillic which we haven’t mastered yet but we know we went past Yuri Gagarin and didn’t realise it, damm!)
So, Lenin is fully preserved, like Madame Tussards but apparently real, small chap but the reverence around it all is quite amazing! Even the Chinese tourists we saw were told to SHHHH by the police in charge and they did!
Lenin Tomb enclosure
Some photos of Moscow Metro
Stomachs rumbling we needed a Soviet canteen for lunch so went to the poshest place around for chicken with white bread topping for Guy (and he liked it!!!) and chicken Kiev with some local cabbage dish for me, although neither if us chose usual accompaniments to our meals so we get really weird looks from the staff and others.
Photo of canteen
Kremlin was next stop on our tour. So we got tickets and went to go in, as usual there we’re signs about checking in bags so Guy went to see if it was necessay, the Russian official at the classroom said ‘no’, so Guy took his bag through the security check only for the woman to notice his pen knife and say’ knife?’ to which the only answer was’ yes’ and so Guy was back to the Russian official at the classroom to check in his bag.
Half an hour later we finally entered the Kremlin.
It is big with lots of cathedrals which were decorated in quite an over the top manner. Must admit to being a little under whelemed as well as being slightly frustrated at being whistled at by officials whenever you stood out of line or stepped over the boundaries, just to take photos of the buildings.
We left the Kremlin by the stipulated exit which was exactly opposite where Guy had left his bag (and dangerous pen knife) so 20 min walk later we had bag back and we needed a sit down.
On looking for a canteen which we wanted to go to (from an article in the guardian obviously!) We stumbled upon an alleyway with the aforementioned canteen and also 3 craft ale bars. It was 4.30pm on a Wednesday and it was fairly packed!!! Full of kids (being checked for ID) older people (some might have been older than Guy), men and women, people in groups but quite a few on their own, a much broader group than you get at home but most importantly NO BEARDS! Beard culture hasn’t reached Moscow yet. There was lots of rock music and I has the best beer yet at 160 rubles IDBR Black Jack Stout.
A few more beers sampled and we made our way back to our tee total hostel slightly worse for wear only to bump into 3 lasses who we had met in St P so had a sober conversation with them and also picked up our Police voucher (proof of where we are staying, necessary for all tourists) .