Morning Mourners

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So I’ve reached Moscow and my first impressions are again that their buildings are somewhat intimidating. Equally as impressive as those in St Petersburg but with a colder, less artistic feel to them. Whilst the churches remain mesmerising…p1000136

other buildings seem a lot more bleak but nonetheless impressive.p1000124

It’s a stark contrast to St Petersburg and feels a lot more metropolitan whereas St Petersburg reminded me of Edinburgh in that a lot of the buildings just oozed a creative character.

 

Travelling back in time a little I wanted to mention an experience in my hostel in St Petersburg.

I was happily going about my business, transferring photos from camera to hard drive, watching a few cartoons in my room, when I look up and see 3 young (about 12/13) girls standing in my room looking at me. They didn’t speak but one of my roommates did and asked what they were doing. Apparently they wanted to talk to me but were a bit embarrassed (despite just walking into my room to stare at me). They soon left and afterwards a larger group came in of about 10 children, accompanied by one of their parents. We got to talking and they basically just wanted to practice their spoken english and it was a very sweet little exchange.

They told me what they want to be when they grow up, where they want to go, what their favourite subjects are and how in the english tests everything is about Buckingham Palace and Police, Camera, Action. They had a strong grasp of the language and liked learning new words and practicing their pronunciation of words. It is this skill other countries have when it comes to their mastery of english that upsets me as I feel we do not value foreign languages enough in England. I always feel embarrassed when talking to someone awaiting the inevitable “sorry my english is not very good” a phrase I can barely say in 2 languages, and even then it’s actually “I only speak a little…”.

 

Moving back to Moscow. I haven’t done too much here as today I had to collect my ticket for the second leg of my trip to China and I kept going the wrong direction on the metro. Eventually I managed to find where I needed to go and then decided to head back towards the Kremlin. I decided not to inside the Kremlin today, I might tomorrow, but I did queue up to see Lenin’s embalmed body.

This was a very strange experience. A gentle susurrus of mourners from China would solemnly bow numerous times towards his body. It was very dimly lit and their was an air of religious practice to the visiting of his grave. Seeing a once live body preserved like this is quite bizarre, and in my reading whilst I’ve been away the concept of reincarnation, the afterlife, existence etc has come up, however I will discuss this in a future post because it is a fascinating topic. He was smaller than I expected.

 

The hostel I am in at the moment is a lot more sociable than where I was previously and there are many people travelling as I am. As with St Petersburg my hostel is at the top of a 4 storey building and my calves have been getting quite the workout. I guess this is a good thing as the train will mean I am stationary for quite a while.

Well, my washing is done so I need to go hang that up otherwise everything will smell of damp which I’m sure my carriagemates on the train will not appreciate, so with that I bid you adieu.
Russia Finances (excluding flights and trains):

Roubles- 16,834 

Pounds- £193.59

Per day- £13.90

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