It’s pronounced Moskva but it’s spelled Mockba. Crazy cyrillic.

I arrived in Nizhny Novgorod early on Saturday afternoon, intending to spend the night here before taking a Sunday night train to Moscow. The city has a strange layout: most things are on the west side of the Oka and Volga rivers, including the train station, most housing and industry, and all of the metro system. The historical and touristy stuff (and some housing and shops) is on the east side. So I had to cross. Lonely Planet advised taking tram 1 or any bus signposted for (somewhere) to get to the central area. Well, tram 1 no longer follows the route specified in LP, and it took me somewhere that wasn’t even on the Lonely Planet map. I went back to the train station and tried to find the bus to (somewhere). I tried to figure out the transit map, which has 3 of most route numbers: tram, bus, and trolleybus. I tried asking people, but nobody knew how to get to (somewhere) or even to the Kremlin. I tried waiting at 3 different bus stops for a bus labeled (somewhere). Nothing.

Then I decided I had no real need to spend another day dealing with this place, and changed my ticket to Moscow to leave Saturday night. I did eventually make it to the Kremlin by staing on tram route 1 until it got to some streets that were on the map, but it wasn’t mind blowing or anything. So back to the train station then onto the train!

I’m now in Moscow, starting my 5th day. I’ve pretty much done everything I wanted but I’m sure I’ll find something fun to do. Then tonight, a night train to St-Petersberg.

Highlights of Moscow have been:

  • St. Basil’s Cathedral is awesome. Photos can’t really do it justice (not that I didn’t try.)
  • The Kremlin is decent too.
  • Red Square, which isn’t actually red.
  • Cat Theatre!!! I wore my Ceiling Cat shirt and made sure He got a good view.
  • An art museum with a really long name that had a Monet room.
  • Just wandering around in general. There are lots of little parks everywhere, neat buildings, and good restaurants. I’ve been using the hostel’s kitchen too though.. this city is expensive if you eat out all the time!