Today I got up and slowly made my way back to the Red Square and the Kremlin. Thankfully the hostel allowed me to keep my bag there today (and gave me a roll of toilet paper for the train). I had breakfast as the same coffee shop as the day before (there is English on the menu), then off to the Red Square.
St. Basil’s is really unlike anything I have seen before, a I don’t think I can explain it. It just doesn’t look real. I wasn’t going to go inside – it cost about $4 to go in, but in the end… well, who know s when I will be in Moscow next, right? So I paid and went in… I’m so glad I did! Again, unlike anything I have seen before. Every surface beautifully paint much of it done in the iconic style Russia is so famous for. I took lots of pictures, but many are dark. I didn’t use the flash because, well, it was dark in there. It really added to it.
I left the cathedral and walked through the Square pasted Lenin’s tomb and museum. I didn’t bother to go see his body. There is an underground mall there that I went in to try and find socks and mitts. No go. The stores were intimidating and everything was fashion-focused, not function-focused. SO, I left again, making my way around the Kremlin to the front entrance, passing the tomb of the un-named soldier. It was $12 to go inside the Kremlin, but again, worth it. It was very beautiful. I kept thinking about Brian* and how he said that Moscow was his #2 destination to see architecture (London being #1). Right now I’m thinking that Moscow should be his #1.
Then I slowly headed back to the SMall Pub. I ate borsch** and it was yummy. Then back to the hostel, used the internet and waited for my train. Spoke with an Irish girl and a guy from Ohio for the longest time. At 9pm, I left the hostel, and got on the metro.
The Russian metro stations are crowded, but beautiful. And considering there are no signs in English, they are remarkably easy to navigate. Not such the case with the train station.
Thank goodness it was only about 9:40 at this time, as my train didn’t leave until 11pm***. It took forever (it seemed) and the hassling of several Russian train people to find my berth. And then I thought they were joking. There were three seats in there and two Russian guys. I sat in the middle seat with a sigh. Suddenly, November 2nd seemed like a LONG WAY away. Hell, it was just 10pm and the hour until the train rolled seemed like a year away. And then the train started moving.
The train started moving. At 10:00!! I felt the first sharp teeth of panic nibbling at my tummy. It was bound to happen… did I get on the wrong freaking train?? I looked anxiously at my ticket.
24 hour clocks will forever be the bane of my existence.
22:00 is, for anyone else out there that may be as challenged by this as I am 10:00pm, not 11:00pm. On one hand, I am happy I didn’t have to wait forever for the train to move. On the other, I can’t believe how closely I shaved the time. Idiot!
After about 20 minutes the carriage attendant came by and said "corridor". After we all stepped out into the corridor, she changed our room from having three seats to having three beds (I think she may have used magic). Joy! They are pretty small though. I’m happy I’m on the bottom, because the train makes me pee a lot. Speaking of that, I don’t see a hot water dealie so no tea for me! Also no food, unless I can use my rubbles at the next stop. I probably won’t bother. I’ll just not eat until London. I’ll consider it spiritual fasting after visiting all those cathedrals. Also, I went into the WC once already for a pre-sleep pee. I’ll be happy to never go in there again, and I was one of the first to use it. Yikes.
Now, just one last worry about Russian immigration (on advice from the hostel, I didn’t register my visa) and then England bound! I can’t wait to be in an English speaking country again after two years!
*For those of you who don’t know, Brian would be my little brother.
**Moms, I know you just read that and are cursing my ass. I know I didn’t like it as a kid. Maybe it just tasted good now ’cause I was in Russia. I dunno. Sorry I ever complained when you made it. Sorry. But it is a weird colour. And when you are 10, the colour of your food matters, you know?
***Or so I thought at the time. HA!