Whether it be social, recreational, or professional, some of what represents me is here. Post a comment, or contact me at should you so desire.

The posts are in reverse chronological order, and are pegged by topic on the links to the left. For more of an introduction, please see the About this site page listed above.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Moscow Trip Day 1: Arrival

Sometimes, it's good to just get away from it all. With that spirit in mind, I went somewhere entirely different, somewhere I had only really heard of, that being Russia! The following posts will lead you through my adventures in Moscow, Russia, and the many things I saw there. So, let's get going!

The trip was organized by several ISU students and led by Professor Nikolai Tolyarenko, one of the many knowledgeable and connected ISU faculty members. Thanks to their effort, we were able to sort out the majority of details well ahead of time and thanks to Professor Tolyarenko, we were given some very exclusive tours of the Russian space industry. More on that later!

The first day was tiring but exciting. Many of us had booked the early flight which meant catching a bus from Strasbourg to Frankfurt at 4am. Even though I had not slept beforehand, I felt energetic and ready to watch Toy Story 3 on the way. I was mistaken, however, and realized this when I almost fell asleep on my laptop.

The rest of the trip to Moscow was as routine as traveling gets. Waiting in lines, sleeping on planes, forgetting I left water in my water bottle and having to finish it or lose the bottle, and finally, arriving at our destination. The group was excited but tired, taking pictures, making jokes, and looking at maps.

I wanted to include some pictures here but it seems that my poor photography skills plus my fatigue led to all of my pictures coming through blurry. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I hope you don't mind if I try to describe what I saw. I promise, more and better pictures to follow!

The Moscow Metro is pretty easy to navigate if you know where you should stop. Very similar to the Toronto and London metro systems, and I presume many others, the many subway lines interconnect and traverse the city and the rules and protocol seem to be the same. One thing which is remarkably different is the architecture. The subway stations in Moscow are exquisitely decorated with statues and pieces of history. Everywhere you look, there is something ornate, beautiful, and worthy of attention. In Toronto, there are a few subway stations which are quite nice, the Museum station is quite nice, however they pale in comparison to Moscow. Each station looks like it is the entrance to an opera house, with chandeliers hanging from the beautiful architecture, often white arched ceilings with lines of gold leading down to statues showcasing Russia's strength and history.
On the train ride into the city

There were a lot of people moving through the public system, and while the Cyrillic alphabet differs greatly from the Latin alphabet, we knew where we had to go, so we followed the signs. Through the tunnels, crowds, and flights of stairs, we only managed to lose one person, but she showed up soon and easily enough. We arrived at the hotel, just wanting to sleep.

The hotel room was quite nice, equipped with two beds, mini-fridge, full bathroom, and free wifi. After hearing some of the concerns of family and friends back home, it was good to know their fears would not be realized. We dined in the hotel which wasn't the most exquisite of venues but it was convenient.

While I was entirely excited to begin my adventure, I was also completely exhausted from the trip and looking forward to seeing more of Russia.

Check back tomorrow for pictures from the Red Square and the Kremlin! And thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment