Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sheremetovo to Rechnoi Vokzal and Leningradsky Prospekt

That a plane crashed at Moscow's other airport, Domodedovo, two days before I flew was neither here nor there.  My family couldn't decide whether to mention it to me or not. I had to tell them in the end, and that  I was no more or less frightened.

Now I am here in Moscow, and the Rough Guide gets me into the city centre, and then, as ever, Debs, it's me dragging a suitcase round a strange city and it's guesswork. It is also dark, late, New Year's Eve, and everyone's speaking Russian, and that means I have just dived into the deep end. The police outside Mayakovskaya Tube Station recommend that I go back to Belorusskaya Station in order to get to Leningradsky Prospekt. 

And Belorusskaya: what a beautiful view. I pause briefly in the dirty snow and breathe in the fact that I have really made it; from a little seed of an idea planted by the other members of my Russian evening class to this snowscape 3000 miles east of Leeds.

Of course I still haven't found the hotel but I figure that if I just walk up the Prospekt I will eventually get there.


Leningradsky Pt is a six lane highway, and every set apart house number represents a "dom", a large building of apartments. I give up at Dynamo Station, and hail a taxi [don't tell the Rough Guide].

Here's a sign says Happy New Year. And here is Hotel Aeroport.

Leningradsky Prospekt
This big hotel has its name in Roman and in Cyrillic letters.  I just get in in time to unpack, throw on a dress and get to the bar in time for midnight. Excited by the sound of people cheering I slip on the marble stairs and whack open my left knee. Arriving at the bar, I find that the cheering was on the tele. There are four people here: the barman, a duty manager, and a couple watching tele; five if you count me.

Hey, rock and roll, it's Midnight in Moscow, New Year's Eve.


Depressed by lack of ambience in hotel I set off up the six lane highway that is Leningrasky Prospect in search of the fireworks, find a 24 hours shops selling "Products". 

Check out the prices of the beers and seek bread and cheese. An assistant comes over to tell me that I can't buy the beers because of the law (zakon). Later I read there is a new law  to do with alcohol come in on New Year's Day, which as of an hour ago it is.


 Depressed by the lack of wifi  on my floor, I eat the bread and cheese in room, then go to bar for a pint and some emails. The barman is nice, but I don't think he's ready for my pathetic, post-airflight attempts at his language. Here, of course it is the early hours. My body is still in UK time, and not quite ready for bed. I watch tele for a bit.

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