Hi all. I hope today’s post find you well. Today I am opening up the old diary again. A couple of weeks ago I brought you an entry from my 2017 Trans-Mongolian trip, featuring a spot in the Mongolian steppe called Terelj. Today’s entry features a slightly more populous spot and also more well know – it’s Moscow. My last full day there saw me visit the Kremlin, the Novodevichy Monastery and also trying desperately to see the remaining five of seven of ‘Stalin’s Sisters’, giant Soviet buildings commissioned by Stalin himself. It was a very busy day!
(by the way there’s a few references to Russian streets and Metro stations here, if you don’t know Moscow, don’t worry too much about them!
From the diary…
I had no time to write diary yesterday. I write this at the mo on the airport express train 12:05 PM the next day so yes the 19th was another highly fuelled incredible day my last full day in Russia and Moscow. I got up late 10:30 AM or so I went up to floor 5 where there is/was free breakfast. It was a fair old buffet selection too. My opinion of the Hotel Slavyanka went up with that single experience. Mostly Russian fare – dumplings, sausages, fried potato but pretty good all told!
Before heading out I pulled another 1800 ruble out of the ATM in the lobby and shortly after 12 I again was headed to the Kremlin! Open today, long line to get armoury tickets but I was happy with the general time which took 5 minutes through security, across the bridge and I was in the Moscow Kremlin again for the first time since 1999. People still getting whistled at for stepping slash walking in the wrong spot!
It’s all in pretty good nick really I spent an hour 15 or 30 in there it was enough – it’s not amazing as one might think Stewart and Nicole saw the armoury and they weren’t that impressed by that either. First I looked in the Patriarch’s Palace, a smallish display room with an exposition from slash of Saint Louis. Lots of gold, the Russians love their gold that’s for sure. A Crown, a lot of people.
There are churches in a square – ‘Cathedral Square’, on one side is the Ivan the Great’s Bell tower. I went into the Annunciation Cathedral which only had a little open to the public then I went to the Archangel Cathedral where there are many tombs of old rulers dating back 17th century even I think to the 13th including the tomb of Ivan the Terrible.
The grounds contain a beautiful park and there is a lot of open cobblestone space. The odd car drove by, no doubt very important people inside. Around the backside of the Bell tower is a giant broken bell. It has a big chip out of it – I think it’s Ivan the Terrible’s Bell. Anyways, needless to say it was selfie city.
That was enough for me. Such a quick McDonald’s lunch and I walked up Tverskaya Ul. to find the post office. I did – it was hidden in around and behind some apartment buildings. I was able to post three cards off which was good and get these three stamps for the old diary.
Onwards I went. I had seen two of Stalin’s Seven Sisters already – The Hilton Moscow (Leningradsky Hotel) when I first arrived and the 18th the Kudrinskaya Square Building. I took the Metro to Krasnaye. Here is the building of the same name in front of me that made three. The fourth was the Moscow State University, the biggest I think of the seven. I got off at Universitat Metro. I walked another 1.5 kilometres to get close, but it was still obscured by trees. I was running out of time as well – it was 4:05 PM by the time I got back to the station. Two stops to Sportivnaya station for the Novodevichy monastery I turned the wrong way – it needed a sign. A young girl helped me out though it was only 5 minutes from the station.
I was out of time for the museum but I got a photography ticket. Nice cathedral got a good picture of a sister lighting a candle walked around lovely gardens and structures. Doubt I missed more than loads of icons in the museum. Needed a pee came to the gate security dude showed me other ends of the ground, D’oh!
After then I was back looking for the remaining three sisters. Kotelnichskaya at Kitray Gorod station was next on the list requiring a couple of changes. I got the Wi-Fi up and going on the Metro although I needed to reconnect and watch ads every single time.
When I got out at this station there were barriers up everywhere I couldn’t get sight of the building at all. I walked up to the park and there it was, peeping over the top of buildings behind the Metro station. I decided to try and get closer I wasted half an hour with no result.
Back on the train to Smolensyaka. This one again obscured but not too badly. Another two changes to get there – changing at Kievskaya a bit of a nightmare. That made six. Seven was back at Kievskaya – the Radisson Royal Hotel that also was a little way away, but I had to meet Stewart and Nicole. Still I got them all even if the last three were well obscured.
Met Stewart & Nicole at Belaruskaya. Two different exits – I found them in the end we walked to where the Lonely Planet said Farmers Diner was. Not sure what the restaurant we ended up was called something to do with bread I think. They baked it daily on the premises.
Borscht, goulash, orange cake and four glasses of wine. Stewart paid for drinks. It was fantastic. I was pretty hungry after the day I’d had I walked and metroed the heck out of Moscow – 10 to 15 kilometres a day. I took my second last Metro ride back to the Slavyanka Hotel. I decided to change twice to avoid the longer walk back. I topped up the card by 25 ruble so I would have exactly 35 for tomorrow’s ride to get the airport express.
And that was the day! I know it’s very rambly but that’s the idea of presenting my raw diary entry for you! Which captures more how I was feeling at the exact time. Thanks for popping by today – take care and May the Journey Never End!