6 October 2010
Woke up to a beautiful beautiful day. The ground was white with frost, the sky was clear blue and travelling through the birch forest was just stunning. Cereal bars again and drinking yoghurt for breakfast. We pulled into Moscow station about 10.00 local time. Moscow is 3 hours ahead of uk time.
Once again John did a sterling job of getting us to the hotel using the Moscow metro - steamer trunks not withstanding. The hotel was an excellent choice and a far higher standard than we had expected. We were lucky that they had one room ready for us so we all had showers before setting off. That was only after one day without a shower so goodness knows what we will feel like after 5 days! The shower was fantastic - masses of hot water and really strong jets. Yes!
While John and I were showering Donnie and Cath had found a beer tent. That didn't take them long! When we were ready we returned there for another beer and some lunch.
John had printed out a copy of the metro plan before we left so finding our way around was not too difficult. Having said that all the signs were in syrrilic (John is not here to tell me how to spell that!) so it was a case of matching the pictures!
What struck us all was how clean everywhere was. We even saw a couple of people sweeping up and collecting the leaves from the grassy areas. Even the public toilets were clean. We just wandered around and watched "stuff happening" outside the Kremlin. One guy goose stepped up to the sentry and spent what seemed to be ages adjusting the sentry's attire. Mmm!
We stopped at a supermarket that was actually more of a deli and tried to buy some flavoured vodka. The guide book had written about black cherry and other flavours and highly recommended that we try them. The shop assistant had a good laugh anyway. All the bottles were behind the counter so we had to "ask" for them There were baskets of fruit nearby so all our charades expertise came to the fore and we eventually purchased something. Ok. No more on that subject!
We decided to have the buffet in the hotel. Huge selection , a lot of which was recognisable! We then of course had to finish off the vodka. I should explain that it was only a half litre bottle!
A lovely end to a lovely day. Let's see what tomorrow brings. I'll write blogs on the train but won't be able to post them until we get to Ulaambaatar. Big smiles from us all. (Time is of the essence so I'm not reading this over to correct spelling, typos etc)