Friday, July 17, 2009


Day 492
I was up early again and packed up. It turned out that that wasn't needed though, the hostel didn't have anyone coming in to take my bed so they were letting me stay in the room for the day. It was quite nice. After breakfast I headed to the Kremlin.

There wasn't much of a line at the ticket office and the line into the Kremlin was short as well. Despite this the guard wouldn't let me in, he just kept pointing in the distance. He was really quite rude. It turned out that I was meant to go to the Armoury first. There was no line here and in no time I had my free audio guide and was exploring.

The Armory is a massive collection of treasures amassed by the Russian state and church over the last several hundred years. The guide was a bit stupid and it was often hard to tell just what I was meant to be looking at. There was a case of Faberge eggs. Apparently they all came with some kind of prize inside. I guess that's where KinderEgg got the idea from. The most interesting item was the double throne of Peter the Great and his half brother Ivan V. There was a hidden area where their regent, Sofia, could whisper things to them. There were also several beautiful gowns including Catherine the Greats coronation gown.

Getting in the the Kremlin from the back way is easy. It only took a minute. The Kremlin is the headquarters of the Russian Church and the government. Just walking in was breathtaking, but the crowds were terrible. They were so bad that it was almost unenjoyable to be there.

The first cathedral I went into was the Annunciation Cathedral, built 1489, was the royal families private chapel. The icon paintings were amazing. Next up was the Archangel Cathedral built in 1508. Several royals are buried here, including Ivan the Terrible. He wasn't really terrible, just very strict and quite possibly a bit mentally unbalanced. There were several groups in the cathedral making it impossible to get around so I just left. Photos were not allowed anyway.

I then checked out the displays in the Patriarchs Palace, as well as the 12 Apostles Church. I was really tiring of the crowds and even the icons at this point. Well, the crowds more than anything.My next stop was the Church of the Deposition of the Robe. It was quite small but had some nice wooden sculptures in it. The last real stop was the bell tower, this had a small art exhibit in it. The crowd was like a monster at this point.After walking by the Senate Building I exited thru the Kutafya Tower, the main gate. The line looked really horrendous at this point and I was glad to be leaving.

On the way back to the hostel I stopped for lunch. I also saw the Lenin impersonator from the day before drinking a coffee and chatting on his cell phone.

After organizing some pictures I spent the rest of the day hanging out at the hostel. I stepped out briefly for a kabab, but mostly just sat around until midnight.

After carrying all my my crap to the metro I promptly got on it going the wrong way. I figured it out after two stops and fixed the problem. I had quite a wait at the train station and sat down in front of what I thought as the platform info board. After some time it hadn't changed and I realized that it was just a really big schedule. I then moved to the right place to wait for my train.

This was my last and worst ride in Russia. It was freezing cold and when I tried to shut the window no one would help. Later on two of the guys in my section got cold as well and they had to both close the window, that's how difficult it was. Eventually I managed to fall asleep.

No comments: