Sunday, August 3, 2008

RU - Moscow

At 8:00 am we awoke, with the initial plan of meeting the Australian girl at the Kremlin so that we could tour about, since Anastasia & Svitlana had already been inside and preferred not to pay the hefty entrance fee. However, we got a call that the Aussie overslept... so we delayed an hour. Then another call which delayed another hour. Then Svitlana and I arrived at the Kremlin at 11:30, only to be unable to locate the Australian girl. A couple hours later, we learned that she was busy and didn't show. That was a bit perturbing... but we made the best of a dreary day and went to the zoo.

Unfortunately, the zoo wasn't anything too spectacular... just like any zoo, albeit with a lot of birds. Since I'm not particularly interested in birds, I can't say it was the best. It was a bit lacking on the things I usually really like: bugs & spiders (since I hate anything with more than four legs). A lot of the exhibits didn’t even have any creatures in them.

We traveled to the World War II memorial & museum, which includes a VERY tall obelisk. We next went to the Moscow State University – one of Stalin's iconic "Seven Sisters" skyscrapers – and also took in the views over the city from the hill upon which the University is located. Apparently this university is among the most prestigious in the country – sort of like MIT, Harvard, or Yale.

They left it to me to navigate back to the apartment, which I did successfully and without any hesitation – including metro, trolley (light rail), and walking. Good to know that I know where to go. Unable to motivate Svitlana to head out again (she had the WRONG shoes for a rainy day full of walking), we opted out of going to see Wall-E and spent the night chowing down on fruit, veggies, and chocolate; and also watching TV.

There was a standup comedy show which, despite not knowing a word of what was being said, I was still able to get a fair share of the jokes. It was pretty funny... perhaps best described as a take on "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" Then there was Simpsons, of course... always popular anywhere. All the names are the same, except Homer is called "Gomer". The guy I was talking politics with the night before said "Gomer" when we got on the subject of the Simpsons (it was a long & broad conversation), but I just thought he had had too much to drink by that point. I kept remember the episode where they flashback to Bart as a toddler & he keeps calling his dad “Homer” instead of something like “Dad”… and he goes “D… D… Domer.” Ahh, good times.

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