07.06.2011 - 07.06.2011 25 °C
Arrived off the train just after 9am. Had to take a subway ride to get to our hotel.. Man the back was damn sore after carrying all of my gear for the km or so..
Anyway, after we got to the hotel we went for a bit of a walk and to get some lunch at a local cafe. Immediately after lunch we decided to go for a walk back towards red square and see if we could see the Gulag Museum on the way.
The streets of Moscow are really beautiful. Many have the car lanes separated by tree lined boulevards that are just beautiful. The main type of trees in Moscow are a type of poplar which means that at the moment the air is thick with white fluffy stuff (seeds from the poplars).. It’s crazy but the streets and sky look like they have snow in them!! (Lucky for me I don't seem to be super allergic to these seeds so smiles all around!)
After a few false starts we found the Gulag Museum. Russia is quite difficult because English is not prevalent and the Cyrillic language isn't much like ours... the annoying thing is that most maps and lonely planet etc are in English translation but all of the street signs are in cyrllic.. I've managed to become at least passingly ok at reading and understanding cyrillic so I've been designated as street sign reader and translator in our little group!
The Gulag Museum was a little underdone.. The museum definitely gives you the idea that gulag life was incredibly difficult but with no English translation on anything (and no English speaking people in museum) you couldn't get the whole picture.
After leaving the Gulag we walked down to the Kremlin via the Bolshoi Theatre.. It was at this time that I just started to have many jaw dropping moments... I had no idea how beautiful the architecture is in Moscow... I was so surprised by how many "knock-out" vistas you can see.. Around every bend of the Kremlin my camera came straight out and I took bucket loads of photos... The Kremlin complex is just awe inspiring.
By this stage it was getting towards dinner and we had planned to all meet for dinner at a Soviet style cafe for some Russian food.... Unfortunately the Soviet cafe met expectations from a looking point of view but the food was pretty ordinary and was western not Russian!
Off to bed now ready for a big day tomorrow trooping around the Kremlin!