Saturday, June 16, 2012

Eurotrip 2012 - Day 2 (6/16) - Moscow, Finally

We were able to lie down across some seats and catch a few winks when the airport departures area cleared out a bit around 1 in the morning. By 3:30 or so, though, I couldn't really sleep any more and instead did some reading. Check-in for our flight began a little after 5, after which we breezed through security. We again took the bus to the plane (the last jet bridge we had used was back when we arrived in Warsaw) then boarded the tiny plane a bit behind schedule, around 7:15. The flight to Moscow (Sheremetyevo - SVO) was thankfully uneventful (no clapping in Russia upon landing, though) and we were able to get through immigration without too many issues (though we did have a little trouble filling out the form - we left the invitation organization portion blank).

We took the Aeroexpress train into town to the Belorussky train station. After some searching and asking a police officer, we found the adjoining metro station. As Joe had previously heard, the signage in the metro system was all in Russian, so we had a rough time finding the correct train - the brown circle line (it runs in a circle around the city center, and connects the three rail terminals with train connections to the three airports) . We eventually found the circle line, and took it 4 stops to Oktyabraskaya. When we got out to the street, I tried to use my phone to navigate to the hotel (Warsaw Hotel) but my phone battery died on me. Joe's phone was also on the verge of running out, but we found the hotel after getting turned around a couple of times - it was in the back of the building where we exited from the metro.

We checked into the hotel around 12:30 and went up to the room, where we both passed out. We initially only intended to power nap for a couple of hours, but we ended up sleeping until almost 5. We then cleaned up and then headed out to Gorky Park, which is literally right down the street from the hotel, around 7. We walked through the park for a while, half crossed a pedestrian bridge over the Moskva River, walked back beside the river to the main street, then down to the corner where our hotel was located. We were back around 8:15, but immediately headed down to a restaurant in the building where the hotel offered a discounted dinner - 350 rubles (about $11 USD) for 3 courses and tea. The meal consisted of a salad w/ bread, a burger-like meat ball (w/o bread) and fries, and semisweet fried pierogis for dessert. It was not amazing, but was still pretty solid, especially for the price.

After eating we walked down the other street a short way just to check it out before heading up to the room around 9:30. There we killed a little time (including watching the end of the third Star Wars prequel with a Russian voiceover dub - you can probably imagine that no Russian voice can come close to adequately replacing Samuel L. Jackson's) before the Euro games started at 10:45. It wasn't until around that time that it really started getting dark outside. We watched Greece beat Russia and then turned in for the night.

Observation of the day: Unlike in the States, Russian faucets have cold water on the left and hot water on the right. UPDATE: This appears to have been the case only in our hotel.

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