the mall which is
right across from where Lenin's Tomb is
From the moment I stepped into our ridiculously nice hostel I knew that this Moscow trip would be something Special. I will start where I left off. With the arrival...
As soon as we got off at the train station here in Moscow these two African girls started waving at me. And I think were trying to get me to come over where they were. I couldn't though. I had to stick with the group. The two girls that are staying in the Hilton went to the Hilton and we hopped on the Metro to go to where we were staying.
This city is HUGE. It's immense and I feel like St. Petersburg is so much more cozy and homely now. The Metro system here is a monster! It's huge and 4 or 5 times the size of the metro in Petersburg. HOWEVER! It is even more exquisite and there are all kinds of marble statues and fancy palace features to the Metro here than in Moscow.
We get of the metro and get to the hostel. I'm discouraged and really sleepy. Cause when we get there at first glance it doesn't look like anything too spectacular. I was sad. We had to leave our bags cause we couldn't check in until 12. Bummer. It's about 8am at this point in time and I'm pretty exhausted. I slept really well on the train. But I didn't get much sleep last week. Between writing a paper for my class and random nights (most no fault of my own) out I got maybe 8 hours of sleep during the week...
We walk down what I consider to be the 5th Ave. of Moscow because there were so many expensive, high class stores. But apparently there are about 4 or 5 more streets like that in this city. We stop at the Russian version of Starbucks Кафе Хауз and I have a delicious chicken sandwich and bleenie (Russian pancakes) with apples and cinnamon (also very scrumptious). We continue to walk and we finally make it to The Red Square! Infinitely much more impressive when you see it live and in person.
Standing in the middle you can see Lenin's tomb the Russian History Museum, the Kremlin, St. Basil's Cathedral and the most incredible shopping mall ever. Better than LA, New York, London, Paris, EVER ANYWHERE directly across from Lenin's tomb..<--Irony. The entire Square is worth the trip. So we walked around a little bit. It was hot and I was really getting tired. Luckily it was almost noontime! So we hop on the metro and head back to where we were staying.
The host lady asked if we wanted to stay in that building or the one across the street. I was really tired and wanted to just pass out there but had I stayed there I would have been alone with only 2 other guys from Brown and random foreigners. I take my chances on the place I am currently at now which is nicer than anything I've seen since I've been in this country.
Imagine a ski lodge, country house, or flat in New York that people rent out to really rich people to say in for holiday. That's what this place is like. It is so comfortable and it has all the amenities of a Westernized, Capitalized living space. I love it here. This place in itself makes the trip worth it. And for only $30 a night? Pics are posted.
I slept here when we got in. Other students went out and about but I needed sleep seriously. Then came some great Southern Hospitality from nowhere! Well Dallas actually. One of the kids on our trip goes to Stanford. He was born and raised in Dallas and he's tall like me but he's really liberal. He's cool though. His parents offer to take everyone out to dinner! Yezzir!
The place we were eating was called the Academy Cafe (very baller, lavish Russian/European fancy restaurant). It was right outside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior (personally my favorite Cathedral in Russia). And when we got there (early) everyone wanted to just take pictures and relax right outside of it. Funniest thing. There was this Black British guy with these white British people and he was really funny. Not like purposefully funny but funny in the sense that he's Black and British and speaks with that accent. This little Russian kid (4 or 5) was running around and the little Russian kid kept coming up to play with him and then running away. Then the mom picks him up and puts him on the Black guys lap and asks to have a picture taken! It was funny and kind of cute at the same time.
We get to the Restaurant and fanciness of it immediately strikes me. We were told to order whatever we want and to not hold back. Word? Okay. I started off with basic flat water... But at the urging of Mr. Payne (the guy from Texas) I as well as everyone else got other drinks... He then ordered us all sushi as an appetizer. I really wanted the steak but I wanted to be modest so I just ordered a pasta with shrimp and chicken and fries on the side. When the order gets there I'm like what is this portion for babies?! But it turns out it was actually really filling! It was so good. It was more than what it looked like. I also tried and immediately fell in love with Napoleon cake! It was kind of like my first experience with creme brulee except infinitely better. It is officially my new favorite dessert! I thanked him for buying us all dinner and encouraged everyone at the table to give him a round of applause which they did. He was a really nice guy and his wife was really nice too. Very interested in me and whereabouts I was from in Texas. It was so great to hear that southern accent again. Last night was the best meal I've ever had since I've been here though..
dinner date I forgot about! oops!
finish this later