Sunday, September 23, 2007

Greetings from Moscow

Good morning. It's 7:45 am around here and we're looking forward to a busy day here in Moscow where we arrived yesterday after our 76h train ride from Irkutsk. The train-ride was good, we spent most of our time sleeping, eating and reading. Unfortunately the landscape, especially in Sibiria wasn't really all that interesting, however once we crossed the Ural things got much nicer. Especially yesterday morning we had an amazing scenary in front of our window, with lots of little houses (most likely weekend dachas) surrounded by a great many apple trees. It was really quite beautiful!

Once we got into Moscow we moved into our Hostel - named "Napoleon" - and promptly proceeded to the Red Square which is only a 10min walk from here. Red Square is a beautiful place, with the Kremlin, St. Basil's and the GUM Shopping Center (definitely the coolest shopping center I've ever seen, the building's style is just amazing!) surrounding it. I did however expect it to be significantly larger, compared to the Tianan'men in Beijing it does feel a bit petite so to say. Patrick and I spent the next hour taking lots of photos and just generally enjoying the first glimpse of life here in Moscow. After some walking around we headed back into our hostel and checked for going-out options for the night. We decided to go to a place called "bilingua" which happens to be very close by to see a live concert. Turned out to be a pretty good night accompanied by some very cool Cuban-style musica being played by the band.

Right now we're off to grab some breakfast before we head to Moscow State University which is housed in one of 7 skyscrapers that Stalin built and we're really looking forward to seeing it. Afterwards we'll head to the Lenin mausoleum at Red Square before we head into the Treyakov Gallery for an afternoon full of Russian art. In the evening we're thinking about going to a Laibach (a band from Slovenia) concert. So this should definitely be a great day!

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