My first full day in Moscow got off to a quick start as two people from my hostel, a Swiss guy and a Brazilian girl, invited me to come with them to breakfast. I didn’t register that this would develop into a full day of wandering around, and they were ready to go, so I didn’t bring my things… such as my camera (although I had my iPhone) or my passport (illegal to walk around without, so it’s good that I wasn’t stopped, as apparently frequently is done to tourists by over-eager policemen). The Swiss guy had a flight out that day, but we met up with a guy from Michigan and his soon-to-be nanny from Crimea, whom he had met online when he accidentally posted something in auto-translated Russian to the effect of “I don’t want to learn Russian and I don’t want anyone to help me” on a forum.
We saw a lot of things, but didn’t stay in one place long enough to really appreciate anything or in some cases even figure out what we were looking at.
I’m leaving things out, but the other major activity with these new acquaintances was an river cruise. Unfortunately, the Brazilian girl who was my connection to the others went to the wrong place and missed the boat. On the way to the pier, I passed a Rolls Royce dealership. In general, in Moscow I saw a high concentration of the most expensive cars I have ever seen in my life, putting Darien and Greenwich to shame by leagues: Bentley, Rolls Royce, many that I had to look up. A Mercedes G-wagen doesn’t merit a second glance for the car-watcher there.
Being on my own this time, I headed in the general direction of Red Square again. On the way I stopped in a park bookended by two monuments: one to the heroes of the Sieve of Plevna in the Russo-Turkish War (I don’t know if I’m just biased, but it seems like pre-Soviet monuments that were never destroyed are rare…) and one, built after the fall of the USSR, to Sts. Cyril and Methodius. The Plevna monument has inscriptions in authentic pre-reform Russian; the Cyril and Methodius one, however, is done in Old Slavonic written in the 1990s, and apparently it is riddled with errors. This is especially ironic considering why these two particular saints are being honored…
Finally, Red Square:
There’s an underground shopping mall just by Red Square.
To be continued…
The GPS isn’t very accurate in an urban canyon.
Posted from Kyyiv, Kyiv city, Ukraine.