We arrived safely in Moscow. Immigration was a doddle though immigration people are very stern. They only seemed interested in asking people if they are carrying $10,000 US. They asked us how much we are carrying and we told them. They wanted to know what kind of dollars we used to transfer into rubles. We said “Australian” and they waved us through. They were definitely not interested in Australian dollars. They must know how little value they have on the world stage. We are staying in a Holiday Inn hotel on the 10th floor. Very quiet and very friendly people. We have today free and our friend from Florida has also arrived. Mr. Penguin has not seen her in about 35 years so big hugs all around. Last night she and I went down to the hotel restaurant and I had a bowl of dumplings and a Russian beer which was very good. My friend had borscht, very red, beetroot soup with a bit of beef in it. Mr. Penguin stayed in the room, had a cup of tea and went to bed. We were asleep by 8:30 pm as the trip was 33 hours long.
There will be no more than 20 people maximum on this tour. There could be less. An easy number to keep track of and easy to remember the names. We will meet the others tonight at the Welcome drinks. So far we have met a couple from Adelaide and there is another woman who arrived very early this morning from Brisbane. We will meet our guide tonight.
It is odd to see all of the signs around us in Russian as there is not as much English spoken here as we find in other countries where we have travelled. We are on the 10th floor of the hotel and the view out the window is quite nice. The sun rises outside of our window in the morning, lighting up the spire of the distant building. Our driver from the airport told us there are 7 such buildings spread around Moscow and they are referred to as the seven sisters. I am sure we will learn more about these buildings. At night time the spire is lit up with green lights that really stand out in the night sky.
I am sure our learning will be on a steep curve in the coming days. I had to laugh as I put the photo of our window view up on my facebook page last night. I wanted my family to know we have arrived safely. My sister, who lives in the San Francisco area put up a remark regarding that nation’s president and the comment was removed, neither by her nor by me. Must be the algorhythms on FB are set to exclude this man’s name. Either way, we had a chuckle about it.
The other thing I usually do when travelling is to put up the art work that hotels like to place in rooms. I like to record them . There is quite a bit of abstract art in this hotel and we have two photos in our hotel room. There is a much bigger one in the hallway on this floor by the bank of elevators.
We’ll look forward to seeing what happens next. By the way the high temperature today is expected to be 12 degrees C (52 F). This is definitely my kind of weather.