When I got off the train in Moscow, I was desperately in need of some coffee and real food. I was also completely lost, so I needed to find an internet connection. Luckily, and somewhat surprisingly, there were free WiFi hotspots throughout the city. Eventually I found a cafe and a hostel to stay at.
The hostel was very nice and extremely well situated. It was located inside of an expensive apartment near Arbat Street. By the time I had checked in, it was already around 7 PM.
I decided to check out Old Arbat Street, which is a touristy pedestrian street in the center of the city. I was amused to see an old man sitting in front of a chessboard, confidently taking on all challengers. There were also several used book stalls, but they didn’t appear to have anything worth reading.
I had a couple of slices of pizza at Sbarro, of all places. I wanted to try some traditional Russian food but the Western alternatives were quite simply much cheaper.
Despite having traveled to Moscow by train, I was still not fully adjusted to the timezone. Consequently, I awoke at around 5 AM. This turned out to be a very good thing, however.
After having some breakfast, I made my way to the Red Square, which was not yet crowded by the daily surge of tourists.
It was also brilliantly lit by the morning sun.
I took several pictures of the beautiful Russian architecture.
In Moscow, the architects weren’t content with just making the surface beautiful: the subway stations are also lavishly decorated, albeit extremely crowded.
I proceeded to explore some more of Moscow.
I walked through several neighborhoods in search of a subway station. When I found an open wireless network, I was able to orientate myself using Google Maps. Then I walked to the nearest subway station and took the subway to the theater. When I got there, at least 30 people were skateboarding at the nearby fountain.
That really made me look forward to some longboarding when I get back to Maryland.
Across the street was a statue of Karl Marx.
Later, I took the subway to the VDNKh, or “Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy”.
It’s a park with pavilions for each republic of the former Soviet Union.
It also had a few ornate fountains.
Near the end of the park was an impressive Soviet rocket.
The afternoon light was excellent for taking photos. It seems that the best time to take pictures is either during the morning or during the evening, when the angle of the sun produces some dramatic highlights and shadows.
The next day I explored another part of the city for a while. After a couple of hours, it started to rain, so I went back to the hostel.
Eventually I took the train out to the airport and hopped on the plane to Stockholm.