Saturday, 12 January 2013


Day Two in Russia. Having stayed up to try and balance up the missing four hours, I oversleep, miss breakfast. Fortunately am in the land of rye bread and Brie, get some more tea (another tea bag) from maid who was trying to make my bed, but without moloko. 

I took my second bus, the number 12 to Red Square. In asking for said square, I forgot to make my adjective feminine (the word for square ends in a soft sign, and isn't obviously a feminine word) and then I forgot to put either word into the accusative. The trolley bus driver did look confused, and I apologised when I realised and then gave him the benefit of my improved grammar. He looked more relieved than grateful.

The language business wasn't going well. My most need to speak Russian is either with the receptionists who speak English well, or general public who don't want to speak at all to me - in English or in Russian.

 Anyway, got to Red Square, massive, beautiful, magic, soak up the atmosphere and the crowds, decide to try to walk / bus it to Leningradsky Station to change my eticket into the real thing. Fail. And as I cross street after huge boulevard, being careful with the ice, it draws dark. I have two maps, one has metros and one has the main stations. I am pretty sure I need to find Krasnye Vorota [Beautiful or Red Gates] but eventually  give up as I think the ticket office may be closed by 5pm anyway. Now where did I put that metro station?

some doms
I do the wound-reopening slip just before I find Rimsky Station, but by now, even the simplest words of Russian elude me, and it is all the kindly cashier can do to propel me to the right platform.  When the downward escalator stops I think I'm in for another tumble, and don't understand a word from the loudspeakers about cause or if it's going to start up again. When it does, am braced. A man on the Metro sees my holed leggings and holed knee, and invites me to sit down.

sparkling ice in Red Square
Moscow Metro deservedly celebrated. And, once you've got the hang of it, so easy to use.  I enjoy every accidental station that I fetch up in.
Bolshoy Theatre

I miss Dynamo station while reading the section in Rough Guide that says it's easy to miss a station, get off at next station, (Aeroport), turn round 360 degrees get back on same train, get off at Sokol [even further away],  decide to concentrate on where I'm going and go back to Dynamo.

I thought I would trat myself to a posh meal. But this large expensive hotel doesn't do vegetarian. Nice Greek salad. Off to my room for the black bread and cheese. I see that Avatar is on tele this evening, dubbed of course into Russian. I think it might amuse.

It doesn't.  Back to the bar for wifi and beer. Both excellent.

[I think Katie might be proud of my picture of me and St Vasili's]

No disrespect, but I can't wait to be in St Petersburg.

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