Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moscow, A Brief Tour

Yesterday we took a bus tour around the city of Moscow and had more stuff pointed out than I could possibly remember. A few things stuck in my head, though. First, Mocow is either the most expensive or second most expensive city in the world to live in or visit. Second, it has almost no unemployment. And third, again, like so many cities I visit, remarkably clean compared to many of the larger cities in the United States and, especially, New York. What is it about New York that compels people to treat the streets, parks, and subways as garbage cans? I know I mention this frequently when I post about my travels but, sadly, it is one of the first thngs that always strikes me. But enough of that.

Because I had the foresight to bring rubles with me I was able to get a beer at the little store in the airport after surviving the crush of humanity getting through immigration control.

It Pays To Plan Ahead
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The airport is one of several in Moscow although, technically, they are all outside of the city limits. It looks to be fairly modern and certainly no worse than JFK. It looks a lot nicer from outside and is probably newer.

Our Airport
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Because it was taking so long for people to get through immigration we had about an hour to kill before everyone made it and we were able to board our bus. I picked a seat where I could keep an eye on my baggage until it was safely loaded.

Bye Bye Bags
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Then it was a two hour drive pretty much through the center of Moscow to where our boat was berthed in a canal. Traffic was pretty fierce heading out of the city. Apparently a lot of people have country homes or dachas and, with the intense heat, were eager to escape the city.
But we finally arrived and settled in aboard. Nice rooms and a much larger vessel than the one we were on when we traveled from Berlin to Prague.

Our Sister Ships
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We are moored on a canal where, it appears, all of the river cruise boats stay when they are here. There is a nice looking building of some sort across from the parking lot/skating rink, but it is closed for renovations.

Not Sure Of Its Function
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If I find out what the building is used for I will let you know.

Looking across the canal isn't that much different than looking across the Hudson from Manhattan and seeing New Jersey.

A Familiar Sight
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Well, okay, you don't see too many cruise ships on the Hudson, other than the Circle Line. Maybe one day Viking will offer river cruises in New York.

Well, our Executive Chef has just invited us to lunch and my WiFi is kicking in and out so this may be a good place to stop for now. The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I opted out of today's optional tours because there is a little amusement park just s short walk away and we are going to explore that. Then tonight we have a Moscow by Night tour that should be quite interesting. And, of course, I still have a lot to post from yesterday's bus tour. I will try to get to that later this afternoon. Now off for a bit of a nosh. But in the meantime, I will let this little fellow haunt your memories.

A Russian Leprechaun
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