I've been in Moscow almost 3 days. I don't want to go into too many details - just want to give a quick update. I will just say that Russia is not the easiest place to travel in the world. I had one pretty bad day the other day - and again don't want to go into detail - I mean nothing horrible happened - I have my health and all my belongings - and the next day (yesterday) was a much better day - so basically all is good. Never again though will I lay on the grass by a church when I am in search of some peace and solitude (atleast not a Russian Orthodox church)! That was how my bad day ended when I needed some solitude and couldn't find another place to go - just to get completely bitched out by a lady for being there - by then I was so fried and exhausted - felt completely alone and not able to communicate with anyone - all I could do was sit on a park bench, feel sorry for myself, and cry myself dry. But - the moment and day has passed - I think these
days are to be expected.
Red Square is an interesting place - Lenin is embalmed and kept in a monstrous tomb. It's a place of incredible historical significance. To be honest though, I am ready to escape huge bustling cities - I'm not sure how many more monuments and museums I can absorb at this point - so I'm not actually. I don't know how the super gung-ho tourists run from one spot to the next...it's exhausting and at some of these huge tourist destinations, it's hard to not feel like cattle being herded through. I will say that I am glad I visited the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. I spent yesterday here in Moscow - a gorgeous sunny day - just wandering the city and various streets and gardens - sitting and watching. This is how I get a much better feeling for a city.
Today is gray and rainy (although as I type I am looking out the window and see a hint of sunshine) - good day to go grocery shopping and do organizing before I board the train tomorrow - 4 days across Siberia. I will get off in a place called Irkutsk (near
Lake Baikal - I think the deepest lake in the world) - spend a few days there - back on the train - get off again on the other side of the lake in a place called Ulan-Ude - spend a couple of days - then finally go across the border into Mongolia to arrive at the capital there on June 4 - where Pat will be awaiting me. I'm looking forward to the downtime and scenery on the train - and fresh pristine air by the lake. I realize how important it is to me to be able to get out and breathe fresh air - I think living in Flagstaff I might start to take this for granted at times. I do love cities - but the balance is essential to me. Aside from the hiking trip I took in Poland, I have been completely city bound.
O.k. - I think that's it for now. I will be out of communication for a few days while on the train and expect that once I'm in Irkutsk I may have internet access again - I arrive there on Sunday I think - so hopefully will be able to
give an update then!
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