Moscow

Trip Start May 23, 2007
1
5
11
Trip End Aug 02, 2007


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Russia  ,
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Travelpod Blog- Moscow

Moscow, what can I say about Moscow? Well it was interesting. It wasn't what I expected and yet it was. The way we travelled from Lithuania to Moscow was to catch a train in Riga Latvia. We took a sleeper train from Riga into a Moscow station. It was crazy. We all get on, with the help of the boys(suitcases) and go to our room that was maybe 7x10'. It was so small. So after we get in and begin to get settled a russian man comes up to us and asks why we are in his room. It was me, jess, amanda, and sarah and we were really excited and really girlie at that point, poor man. It turned out that we had all be misinformed and we all needed to switch rooms. It was crazy difficult. We had to all pack up our stuff and stand single file in a line with our luggage. We finally got in our room and situated. It was one of the most fun nights we have had here. Us girls have just clicked from the very beginning. Amanda actually reminds me a lot of kovacik which works out well. After 14hours on a sleeper train and three checkpoints for customs we arrived in Moscow and tried to find our bus. It was really interesting because you would think that we would have all slept a lot since we were stuck on a train for 14 hours but instead we got maybe 5 hours. I kept dreaming that the crazy russian lady was knocking on our door telling us to get out and that we weren't packed so I couldn't sleep well at all. I kept waking up in a panic. Of course it doesn't help that the sun rises around 5am and sets at 10:30pm. It makes it a long day and of course we are always confused. Once in Moscow we got on a coach and headed on a city tour. It was amazing and yet redundant. Moscow is a cross between dirty new construction metropolis and a very old world with beautiful huge buildings. It is very interesting to see everything side by side. After the tour we went to the hotel where we were allowed to put our stuff in our room but not change or shower, did i mention we were gross at this point? We then had lunch at a local cabin that was much like lithuanian food but with different bread and fish. It was fairly decent. The soup had cow tongue in it so I decided not to try that. We then got our passports back from the hotel (Moscow has some crazy corruption within the law enforcement and so we were asked to bring our passports with us everywhere in case something happened and we needed to go to the embassy) before getting on the coach and heading to a local university to talk to some of the students. It was then that we experiences our first moscow traffic. It was amazing. There are 12 lanes of traffic and we were in gridlock for 2hours going ten blocks. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It will definitely make me appreciate Chicago traffic jams. No more complaining! We finally made it to the university and only had about 30minutes to talk with the students. It was very informative about how russian society and education has changed since the soviet union collapsed. We quickly went from there to dinner. After dinner we had the amazing opportunity to see the famous russian ballet. It was definately interesting. The ballet was about a sheep who was indebt to a lord who was with a king who had a beautiful daughter who falls in love with a robin hood type character whose side kick is a donkey. It was crazy. It did keep our attention and it was an experience. There was also quite a bit of nudity so we felt as though we were watching soft porn during some "scenes". It was definately a once in a lifetime experience. After the ballet we headed back to the hotel where kellen and I gave devotions. (we are suppose to start every morning with devotions but we hadn't had anytime until then) That night we just hung out around the hotel and unpacked/showered.
Day #2
Everyday in Moscow tended to start early. I've been having issues with my hair and the climate(shoot me) so it took me quite a while to get ready and I ended up missing breakfast. We headed to red square and the Kremlin where we were able to tour a couple of churches and we were able to see Stalin. We then had a few minutes to look at a local mall which was beautiful. We also got followed around by a security guard who turned amanda down when she asked for a picture. After lunch we went to the armory museum and I promptly got sick. (we have all been sick off and on due to the major changes in food/climate plus our overall lack of sleep) After rejoining the group we went and toured a square that was full of russian orthodox churches. They were all beautiful. The one problemthat we tended to have though was the amount of information our guides told us. We would spend at least 30 minutes in each church and normally they were only one room. I actually got asked to leave by a russian guard when I was caught taking a picture. After the churches we had a late dinner and then went back to the hotel. We got back at least2 hours earlier than any other night (9pm) so we ended up having a party in my hotel room and watching when harry met sallie(the guys loved it!) After that we all just did random stuff before hitting the sack.

Day #3

Sunday we all got up and had breakfast before getting on the coach for a two hour drive to church, which was in russian and was almost 3hours long. Garrett acted like a five year old for half of it he was so bored and uncomfortable (long legs in a small space). Ryan however made a local friend very quickly. The kids were allowed to run around the service so after a few flirtatious stares a little girl gave him a note in russian. we then had it somewhat translated "my name is tania, american?" was all we could get. The next note her mom helped her write and in english it said "my name is tania, I am six years old." Ryan then wrote back that his name was Ryan Bennett and he was 21. How are you? I think the age difference may have scared the mom because that was the end of the notes. She was adorable though and the whole ordeal kept us entertained for the end of the service. After Ryan got his picture with her before we headed to a local youth center where we met with local "missionaries/evangelists" and had lunch. Unfortunately lunch yet again made some people sick. (we're having a rough time) Once back in Moscow we went to a local market and shopped before going to dinner and the Russian Circus. The Circus was amazing. We had a great time watching all the animals and acrobats along with some hilarious dancing to american rap songs. Yet again the hotel was just a hodge podge of activities. We were asked not to leave the premesis since Moscow is so dangerous so most of the time we would get online and call people using skype.

Day #4

Monday we had a business visit to mars co. It was amazing. Other than having a bus driver who couldn't drive a stick the trip was definately the best corporate visit that we have had so far. We got to talk to a local american who was the logistics manager about his moving to russia, how he became involved with mars, and we also got a tour of the lines. It was a great visit. We also got a lot of just common business knowledge that we will need when we go into international business. After our visit we headed back to moscow where we enjoyed a folklore dinner cruise on the river running through moscow. It was a lot of fun. The dancers pulled us in and i ended up having to do a traditional russian dance where I got the great pleasure  of kissing both Dr. LaFrance and Matt L. I was a little mortified when Dr. LaFrance picked me to go to the middle of the circle with him. It was interesting to say the least. Then we had dinner and more dancing and music on the upper deck. That night, since it was our last in Russia, we decided to go out for some fun. We tried to find a local club that was close if not in the compound but we were informed that there wasn't any close by. We ended up going to a lounge type setting with a  russian singer where we had some drinks and then headed upstairs to a local pizza parlor for a bite. (That may sound excessive on the food since it was like 1 am and we are getting three square meals a day but everyone has been having such a hard time with the food and getting sick we have been lucky to keep anything down other than sweets). We then had to run upstairs and pack before going to sleep.

Day #5

This morning we had an early breakfast before meeting with a local business man at our hotel. You may have heard of him. He is running the only mexican food chain in Russia and the business is growing very quickly. He was very informative. We then got on the coach and headed to the airport where we had a quick bite before going through lines for customs. After customs we got on the flight where most IBIers are around each other but I'm in rows of russians. It is interesting to say the least. My neighbor just got caught with brandy and was asked to put it away. Seriously hilarious. He speaks very little english and he has already had two bottles(mini) of red wine. Hes maybe 70 sitting next to his wife. Russians are great!
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: