Arrived in Moscow at 6am1 and crashed out at the hostel which thankfully has comfy couches and other useful amentities, such as fast, free internet. The hostel is another converted apartment (actually two) but the scale of such apartments as originally built is pretty impressive, the ceilings are actually higher than in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

After an easy stroll to Red Square, paid a visit to dead embalmed guy number two (of a three part set). The setup is the same as visiting uncle Ho, but with a short queue. Lenin himself looks very small, and somehow less lifelike than Ho – but I think that’s mostly the extreme pink lighting used to improve his complexion. Behind his tomb the great and good of the communist era are buried along the east wall of the Kremlin. And Stalin.

Red Square itself is impressive, bounded to the west by the immsense wall of the Kremlin, the north by an ornate museum, the south by St Basils (much smaller in real life than all the pictures make it seem) and to the entire east side by the GUM, which is an amazing arcade of pillars, bridges, columns and an arched glass ceiling. Inevitably all the shops are the expected lineup of Western designer boutiques, but walking around the space is delightful, at least when the sun is pouring in from above. After fleeing the outrageously prices of GUM, I did manage to locate (thanks to Lonely Planet) a well-stocked foreign-langauge bookstore, to remedy an accute shortage of reading matter.2

  1. but this was almost an hour later than scheduled, quite usefully []
  2. Would someone please make a decent e-book reader already? Dead tree is a rubbish way to move text around. []
Posted Saturday, June 7th, 2008 under history, travel.


  1. 05.56 vs 06.00 is hardly an hour later…

  2. I’ll be expecting a postcard…! 😉

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