about a 2 day business trip in Moscow (updated)
No, don't get confounded. I did not have experience 1001 nights in room 2. My room number was 1001 in Moscow, where I slept, or rather tried to sleep. There was nothing with the room. The hotel was great and the room was excellent (it must be for the price it cost). Only, I ironically don't sleep quite well anyway and I sleep even worse in hotels (where I often have to overnight). Add to that, the pillow was a bit too “high” and 2 hours of time difference from my normal time (if I have any).
This is in Moscow and it is the only place I am going to see today! Apart from the airport I had the chance to enjoy inhaling the unfiltered exhaust fumes of 10s of thousand of cars I encountered on the way from the airport the hotel (during the 1.5 hours drive). I imagine that living here would bring one lung cancer or similar maladies... As for the hotel it is terribly expensive (something like 350$/night).
As I entered here in the Hotel Borodino I was greated by a lovely receptionist. Among other things she told me that they have 2 restaurants. One is called Kutuzov and the other (here I said to myself: Napoleon? No, this can't be) is called Davidov. I picked Davidov (Kutuzov looked pretty boring).The dinner that consisted of a nice salad and a soup was good but it costed $36!! I had to give up the idea of taking the dessert ($10)
Going out of this building today is outt of question because:
- it is pretty cold
- outside there is one of these horrible wide avenues and it is surely not the best place too have a walk in in an unkown city
- my colleague told me that I'd better not leave this hotel! why? She did not really explain...
The second day
it was more interesting. I left the hotel at least! In the morning I had the chance to enjoy the traffic jam for a complete hour till my colleague and I arrived to the fair where we wanted to go. We Spent there a few hours and left it with the bus to the metro. The bus was a so-called shuttle, i.e. for free. It was an old Soviet type bus smelling like Diesel (this all reminded me intensively of my childhood and youth). My host was a little embarrassed of that but I was happy to see a little bit of normal life outside of taxis, hotels, fairs and airports. She told me that these buses are not used anymore and that they have normal buses in public transport. This one was probably used for this purpose as it is for free and they are saving costs… we wanted to go the Red Square but we wanted to pass shortly to my hotel where I can change, wear warmer things (for the -5°C) and get rid of my computer. We did so. I enjoyed the trips with the tram. First they are much more acceptable than having to inhale exhaust gases for 1 hour. And second, as I said one can see real life. Add to that there are beautiful (but very crowded) metro station. Each one of them looks differently. In one of them there was such a crowd and flow of people that I was stunned first. There was also congestion even there under ground as the rate of transport per escalator is less than the rate of flow of people wanting to go up to the fresh air! Some stations are so deep that it was dazzling to look up (or down) to the end of the escalator. Some girls were having less cloth than what was really needed in this cold. Or maybe they were so hot that the cold did not bother them…. We surfaced up from the underground and I was stunned by the marvels of the architecture that I saw there, in the city centre. I was first fascinated by the Manege Square, the lighted buildings and the statute of General Zhukov in front of the State Historical Museum. The bigger fascination was in the Red Square with the high red walls of the Kremlin and Lenin's Mausoleum. Although it was night and a stage is being constructed of the middle of it, still it was impressive. The Saint Basil's Cathedral looks like a huge very cheerfully coloured toy house. After this little walk we had a nice dinner in a restaurant decorated (also the staff) in a traditional Russian way. It all ended at 7:30 pm. My colleague was exhausted and we decided to finish the evening like that. I was then confined to my hotel room till I fell asleep at 10:30
Today was the day of the trip back. The taxi came at the right time (unlike the taxi yesterday) and we started the beautiful sunny day (-3°C) with the obligatory traffic jam. Still we made it to arrive even 2.5 hours before the flight. The Check-in procedure is a bit curious. It seems that using and reading signs is not a practice that is usually used in Russia as in our queue checking-in to Düsseldorf stood some people who wanted to go to Kiev or somewhere else. After having made it in all controls we had the great luck to wait for the flight that was 2 hours late and we had no possibility for drinking, eating or going to the toilet without passing the security check.
“Chicken or Fish?” asked the Stewardess in the usual Aeroflot way upon distributing our lunches some time after we took off (and I was dying of hunger). To summarize it all I was on the way for 11 hours today and now I feel dead!
I have to add before closing this posting that there are indeed many beautiful and/or sexy girls, also sometimes so tall that I said that they had the stuff for a model. It seems that this beauty disappears quickly after a certain age (maybe middle 30s? 40s? as I did not see so many beautiful “ripe” women!