Saturday, September 02, 2006

Moscow Hates Epileptics!

Greetings from the Red Square... well about 150 metres from the Red Square. This internet cafe is so close to the Kremlin on a still day you can almost smell Lenin... mmmm Lenin-y goodness

Tried to see the old guy but wouldn't-ya-know-it Moscow turns 859 today and the city is closed for Muscovite Celebrations.. but NO SMILING! Russians do not smile... EVER! STOP SMILING! Supposedly they smile when with friends... but i think they must always hang out with hated enemies as they are all so stoney faced. We have been told they do have a national "Smile Day"... but i have no idea how the poor russians will survive such an event. It would crack their stoic faces. There will be much celebrating later in the day with street markets and laser shows. Nat and I watched much Big-Hattery and military goose stepping and tried to see Putin... but the bugger is rather elusive.

Now.. about the epiliptic thing. The city seems to be in love with LEDs. They cover every available surface in randomly blinking lights. Hotels, billboards, public monuments..all blinking away in no discernible pattern. Standing in the main street of Moscow at night you can feel certain parts of you brain passing in and out of consciousness!

The 4 day train trip across 1/4 of the planet was a bizarre, bizarre journey. Eating, Reading, Drinking, Chatting, Vomiting, Staring and TOGA TOGA TOGA! I will leave the Girlclumsy to fill you in on the filthy details... my soul still burns from the "romance" of rail ;) The train was at least comfortable this time but the total lack of showers make for a rather aromatic trip.

Did the usual touristy thing of wandering Red Square and taking copious pictures of St Basil's Cathedral. (Boom! Boom!) You know the one.. Russian... In the Red Square.. Looks like ad for ice cream cones. Inside wasn't waht i expected. It isn't a big empty space like european cathdreals. It feels more like a cave with different grottos scattered haphazardly throughout. Many different rooms (though they are all different churches) joined together by tiny dark winding corridors. I was in raptures with the place. To top it all off there was a male choir sounding in the depths. The place has fantastic acoustics and the baritones sounded like zealot whales calling to their pod. The darkness, the russian orthodox iconongraphy and the singing made for a very eerie and atmospheric experience. Best of all.. free! Huzzah for "Moscow is 859" day.

Wandered the Kremlin also. It is rediculously expensive and only really gets you into the grounds of the Kremlin (which mean Fortress in old russian).. well some of the grounds. When we tried to go to some places we were held back by military types and a stern 'Nyet'. You have to pay more to get into the actual good stuff in the Armoury. Yes.. there were weapons galore (Huzzah!) but they also have many of the Russian treasures. Faberge eggs made to look like bullets (comemerating WW1), dresses for Catherine the Great, many many carriages made by many many countries and given to Russia when they were a sexy imperial power, gilded silver and silvered gold, plates, pots, plaques and pantaloons. The Armoury was the best part of the Kremlin in my opinion. Well worth the money

Oooo! The Mosow Metro! Yay! I have found a Underground train system i love just as much as the London Underground! Well laid out, huuuuuuuge escalators, big trains that come often and a maze of tunnels and connecting doors to explore... good stuff. It is in someways even better than the London Underground because some stations still have the old chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. Imperial majestic light fittings in a common area. I have been digging using the Moscow Metro nearly as much as getting the places I was trying to get to! It has been pointed out by a few people on the tour i am on that I am a freak... but say to you, gentle readers, BOLLOCKS!

Moscow is expensive but not as bad London, imo. No sign of crime and pickpockets... but then again thats probably the point. Two guys on our tour did get asked for their passports by the local fuzz.. Big hatted serious types.. but it all ended well

Righto gang.. must flit.



Anonymous said...

The sun flows across Mother Russia, acrossthe Don and Dnieper and softly illuminates the corners of Red Square.
Off in one corner we see a man on his haunches legs flying alternately left and right....
Yes,,,,,it is.... it's none other than...
Grigori Fawlenova that great exponent of Cossak Dancing

Dear Comrade Fawlenova,
The contract for your season with the Russian Ballet is in the post..Believe me,,,would I lie?
You will be happy with our management fees (you better be, we know where you live)
Yours in crime
Orses Edski CPA
The Mafia (Da)

Anonymous said...

Visited Moscow 1974. Stayed at the Hotel Ukraine. Also found the Armoury fascinating.

Kath said...

Got your postcard in the internal mail today, Adriana sent it to me. LOVE those stamps! A camel ad a Russian car... the two modes of Mongolian transport.

Sent the message to all the Squids, stirred up some Squidly conversation.

I think Mr Stoner is in the squid legion. Will watch him carefully for tentacular activity.

Keep us posted

Anonymous said...

referring to your comments on China.
The headlines in the Bild Zeitung in Germany yesterday were---China is more socialistic than Germany. ie better organized etc.

TLime said...

Did you do a Metro tour of the Brown line stations? They have funky statues and shite leftover from the communist era...