07.02.2012 - 07.02.2012 -15 °C
The plane landed to a little applause, after what was a three hour flight and a holding pattern so the Pilot said because of congestion but at 2.15 in the morning there didn’t seem to be too many people around. It was quite easy getting out of the airport and there was a driver waiting with my name on a sheet of paper, he pointed the way to late model Ford Mondeo which travelled very fast into town. The first thing he said was “No English!” which I interpreted as ‘No Talk’ so I didn’t. It was not a pretty 15 minute trip into town but I understand that it is the best time to travel as any other time it is gridlocked almost, but we passed all the usual suspects; McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza joints and of course IKEA, I almost felt at home.
We found the hotel and it really is not a hotel but a few rooms on the 3rd floor of a back street building that is really a hark back to a bohemian era and I am writing this in the cafe downstairs where, when I arrived earlier this morning, was thumping with Jazz and Swing music and I felt that I needed to get my rainbow gear on, grow and Pony Tail and I would fit right in. The room is small with a king size sleeping platform and a small area at the end near the door and a very small shower bathroom. However it is centrally heated and I slept like a log for quite a few hours.
This morning it was -15 but I was OK except I will need to put some ‘long johns’ on, and a better ‘beanie’ to keep my ears from falling off. Today I just looked around and took lots of Pictures in Red Square, Gum Department store and found an underground shopping centre that seems typical of the shopping culture that exists here in Moscow.
I was amazed at the size of the buildings here in Moscow and every direction you look they are huge, and some are ornate in the extreme. I always like new experiences and I had a coffee at a very classy Coffee Shop. I asked for a large Latte and it was in a brandy balloon with more than the top half froth and you drank it with a straw. I have never done that in Australia.
I spent a couple of hours in Red Square and decided that the scene that I saw in ‘The Russia House’ was not filmed here but it must have been another film. However I am here and took a picture of myself right here in Moscow so that I will always remember it. I even walked on an area where they had not cleared the snow and took a picture of my footprints; like I made my mark but when the warm weather comes, or more snow it will fade and no one will ever know I was here; almost philosophical really.