Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Uh Oh!

Thursday 7 October 2010

Uh Oh! John woke with a stonker of a cold. He had had a sore throat most of the previous day. Not to worry - medicine monitor was prepared with a stack of paracetemol. We had planned a late breakfast after another brilliant shower. Breakfast was kind of a rerun on dinner. There was a huge choice of cereals, cold buffet, salads, meat dishes etc etc. I never thought the day would come when I would have liver stroganoff and mashed potato for breakfast. Lovely.

It took me ages to post the previous blogs after breakfast. I could connect to wifi in the lobby but it was obviously a Russian connection so everything on my screen came up in cyrillic (John is here to spell it!). I know I have many talents but the combination of my technophobia and Russian illiteracy defeated me for a while! The long and short of it is that we didn't leave the hotel until 11.45 by the time we had deposited luggage etc.

We had a walk round the park that bordered what was the Olympic village. It was really beautiful and interesting to think that it was all built 20 years ago.

We got the metro back into the centre so that we could check out the railway station ready for our departure in the evening. We had arrived at a different station. We had to be sure we planned the easiest route with the minimum of steps to negotiate with steamer trunks. We also wanted to find a supermarket nearby where we could buy supplies for the train.

John then took us to the Arbat district which is a bit of a Moscow Rive Gauche.

We wandered around and as I needed a place to put my eye drops in and John was due another load of paracetamol we had to go for a beer! This was where we made our first mistake. We went into what seemed like a bar with a sunporch enclosed in glass. Cath and I asked for a toilet and were escorted downstairs to what appeared like an Ann Summers bordello without the bawds! I did try to video it but it was too dark. The red lights in the toilets were so dim that Cath didn't realise there was actually a seat on the toilet. We laughed. By that time the tone of the day was set. John got a bit confused and said something about Bob Wailey and the Marlers. That was Cath off - I'm surprised we weren't asked to leave! On reflection we know why we weren't and also why we were the only people there - downstairs was a sleezy club and the beers were over £5 each as opposed to about £2!

We enjoyed our wander before returning to Ismailovsky where the hotel was.

We had an enjoyable supper before collecting our bags and heading to the station. We all agreed we would like to go back to Moscow. We would stay at the same hotel but allow time to enjoy the pool, sauna etc. The fact that the weather was so wonderful may have been an influencing factor. We were so lucky.

We were at the station a couple of hours before the train was due to leave so Cath and I set off for supplies. Money monitor told us the kitty had 2000 roubles which is about £40 so we knew we had plenty cash. I won't divulge exactly what we bought but most of you reading this will know us well enough to guess correctly! As we collected things I worked out that it would be just under 1000 roubles. It was 960 so no worries - or so we thought. As money monitor's next of kin Cath had the kitty and counted out the money. Oops! We didn't have enough. Red faces. Panic. What would we put back or would one stay while the other went for re-enforcements? While we were agonising the check out girl called her supervisor who gave her a swipe card and miraculously the amount due equalled what we had. Sorted!

Surprisingly there was no domestic. Money monitor realised where he had gone wrong and kept his job.

When the train arrived we were sooooooo excited. It was just like the Orient Express. The carriges really art deco with the mirrors on either side so that you can see to infinity. Just perfect. We were like kids in a sweety shop. So it was toasting goodbye to Moscow with vodka. Total happiness.

1 comment:

  1. Love your story-telling style Sue (and your other styles for that matter!).