Friday, June 1, 2007


After coming to the conclusion that we need help with booking the Trans-Siberian tickets, we decided to ask the hostel for help. Boy, this was a mission! First, we asked the receptionist to help us. She seemed to be pretty organized and knowledgeable about the trains. We were to come back in a few hours and she would have all information ready for us. The decision was made that we would attempt to find a skin doctor, because my face broke out over 3 weeks ago and I was having issues. The first place we went to was the American hospital and they wanted over 4,000 rubles, which is over $200 US. We made an appointment and headed to the grocery store. On our way, we saw the American Clinic and decided to stop. They wanted over 5,000 rubles. How crazy? We attempted to negoiate the price, but no luck. They told us to go to the 3rd floor and they might be able to help. Well, it turns out that upstairs no one speaks Enish, but offers good prices. We decided to give it a whirl! Luckily, we met a nice guy named, Michael, who was able to translate the entire process to us. However, Michael left before the prescriptions were given to us. What a language barrier! Trying to ask questions and the doctor only responding in Russian. We eventually figured it out with the help of another doctor, who spoke English. Guess what? The presciptions works! It's like a miracle! After this diffcuilt day, we return to the hostel and to find out that the receptionist has not done anything. What a bummer and freak out! We decided to take matters into our own hands and go to two travel agencies that our book lists. Come to find out, one does not book Trans-Siberian tickets and the other charges a huge fee. Therefore, we had to rely on the receptionist to come through. So, the next day Jay sat with her for over two hours figuring out the entire ordeal. We were able to book two tickets for two parts of the trip. She was not able to book Ulan-ude to Ulanbaator for international reasons. So, this ordeal took up almost two days worth of our time. However, we did manage to see some sights and meet some cool new people. The Kremlin was absolutely stunning in size. It most have taken up one or two blocks. The Kremlin is the apex of the Russian political power. Here is where autocratic tsars, communist dictators, and democratic presidents have done their best and worst for Russia. The reason why we went to the Kremlin was to view the Armoury. This was a breath-takeing exhibit of treasures, such as silver, gold, thrones, crowns, armour for the knights, and carraiges for the kings and queens that have been collected over centuries. We walked around the Kremlin taking in it's beauty and fascination by the wall that surrounded it from the rest of Moscow. As we were walking outside around the Kremin, we approached St. Basil's Cathedral. We were amazed at the crazy confusion of colors and shapes. This cathedral replaced the existing church that celebrated Ivan the Terrible's taking of Tsar stronghold of the Kazan. Its design is a Russian design that had deen developed for building wooden churches. Jay claims this is one of the reasons he wanted to come to Moscow. And I can see why! It was compleltely unbeliveable with the amount of different colors that were displayed. Those are only the really two big sights that we were able to see. On the third night, we had to switch beds to an 8 bed dorm. There we meet three british lads from the UK. Come to find out they are on the same route as us on the Trans-Siberia. Hopefully, we run into them at Lake Baikal.
The 4 day journey to Iruktusk began last night at 11:25 pm.
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

That sounds amazing. Did you get one of those crazy Russian hats? Watch out for Putan and his missiles.