A Travellerspoint blog

Moscow Underground

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View Round the World on shoestring's travel map.

Our two nights on a bus weren't nearly as bad as we'd imagined - the first night we both even managed some sleep. But the bumpy road leading into Moscow meant the second night was more restless, and we were pretty exhausted by the time we arrived in the city.

Moscow has been our first real taste of culture shock. Not only do we have to deal with an unfamiliar langage, but also a different alphabet - Cyrillic. This means even reading maps and navigating stations on the Metro can be a real challenge.

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On the subject of the Metro, the stations have proved a pleasant surprise. They're a long way down - originally built to double as shelters in the event of nuclear war - but when you reach the bottom you're greeted with architecture that is surprisingly ornate.

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Almost no one speaks any English, so we've played it safe and stuck to familiar places to eat - McDonald's, Costa Coffee and Pizza Hut. These, together with many other signs of Western capitalism, are very visible in Moscow, but traces of its communist past are not hard to find. We visited Lenin's Mausoleum in Red Square this afternoon, still something of a shrine to the leader of the Russian Revolution, to see his remarkably well preserved body. Unfortunately we had to leave our cameras outside.

Moscow's streets are chaotic; wide, multi-lane roads seem to do little to stop gridlock. The first time we descended into a subway to make our way to the other side of the road, we were a little unsure what we'd find. What we didn't expect was a bustling shopping area, with a line of narrow shops alongside one of the walls.

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We leave for Beijing on the Trans-Siberian Express in a little over two hours. We won't have internet but will keep a diary of the trip. Check back on Monday to see how we got on!

Posted by shoestring 07:56 Archived in Russia Tagged shops food moscow lenin metro russia fast

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