From Russia with Love
Trip Start Apr 14, 2010
96Trip End Apr 16, 2011
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Our first Russian stop was St Petersburg where we caught what were apparently the first few sunny days of the summer. It was also the 'Red Sails’ festival which must be the world’s biggest graduation party and celebrates all the high school graduates leaving school with a huge concert and fireworks display over the Neva. It is also an excuse for anyone under the age of about 30 (and several over) to party in the streets which are closed off to cars for the night – meaning enormous queues for anywhere selling beer and some very sorry looking people the next morning
From St Petersburg we had a very pleasant overnight train (2nd class) to Moscow complete with free breakfast. The only issue en route was on our arrival in Moscow when Gordon was looking for a piece that had fallen off his watch when the train started to pull back out, necessitating a high-speed bag throw and jump from the carriage!
Moscow was sweltering but fabulous. We spent a lovely few days wandering through the Red Square and Kremlin, and also out to some of the parks exploring the city (as well as quick trip to the EY office to see some of Sarah’s friends). One of Sarah’s colleagues had got us tickets to the ballet so we went to see Swan Lake – and inside the Kremlin at the State Kremlin Palace. It was absolutely amazing (Sarah’s words). Gordon even stayed awake through ¾ of it! Thank you so much Vera for sorting that out for us. The next day we tried another element of Russian culture and headed to the vodka museum
Sarah’s also taught herself to read Cyrillic which means that every sign she sees she reads in the manner of a small child (s-oo-p-air, oh, supermarket) but has been invaluable in finding our way around and navigating the metro systems. Our other major development is that in anticipation of not being able to shave often in the next few weeks Gordon has taken pre-emptive action and grown a beard. Comments on the photos please!
From Moscow we start the Trans-Siberian proper (or rather the Trans-Mongolian route that we’ll be doing) so our next blog will no doubt revolve around train stories as we travel nearly 6,000 km across Russia before crossing into Mongolia in 10 days time!