Moscow to St. Petersburg
Walking/shopping tour of Old Arbat Street and tour of Moscow’s Metro before transfer to railway station for day train to St. Petersburg (departing 16:30 arriving 20:45 but times may vary)
Transfer from Hotel to Moscow Railway Station
Transfer from St. Petersburg Railway Station to Hotel
Spend 4 nights at Sokos Olympic Garden on a bed & breakfast basis(a.)
a. An additional note at the end of the “Booking Confirmation” document says:
But there was also the postponed “half-day tour of the Kremlin including a visit to the Armoury Chamber” to fit in. So the revised plan was that instead of the transfer to Moscow Railway Station being from the hotel, we would load our luggage on the coach in the morning, do the Kremlin tour, go on to Arbat Street and the Metro, rejoin the coach, and go from there to the station. The phone rang our wake-up call at 6.00am. Janet got up at 6.15am… finished the packing, then we went for breakfast ca.7.45am. Again, I included «бекон» in what I ate. We got all our stuff together and went down to Reception. Check-out was just the straightforward handing over of the door cards. Лидия arrived ca.8.45am, but the coach didn’t arrive for several minutes. I went to sit down to conserve my right leg. When the coach arrived, the luggage was loaded in its bowels, then we boarded and went off for our Kremlin visit. A “kremlin” per se is a fortified enclosure, and there are kremlins in a number of Russian cities. I hadn’t realised that until this trip. When I saw the date-and-time display on the coach, I realised it was “Nine Eleven” and mentioned this to Janet.
Click on the photos, below, for a larger view.
09:34:56 Again, a traffic queue as we approach the Kremlin
09:37:24 Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on the other side of the Moskva River, demolished by Stalin in 1931 to make room for a “Seven Sisters”-style Palace of the Soviets. Building of this was halted by the Second World War, and a replica cathedral was completed on the site and consecrated in 2000.
Moscow Kremlin and City Centre
- The Armoury Chamber
- The Assumption Cathedral
- The Annunciation Cathedral
- The Archangel's Cathedral
- The Patriarch's Palace, the Twelwe Apostles' Church and One-Pillar Chamber
- The Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe
- The Ivan the Great Bell-Tower, the Assumption Belfry and the Filaret Annex
- The Tsar Cannon
- The Tsar Bell
- The Faceted Chamber
- The State Kremlin Palace
- The Terem Palace
- The Grand Kremlin Palace
- The Arsenal
- The Senate
- The Kutafiya Tower
- The Trinity Tower
- The Commandant Tower
- The Armoury Tower
- The Borovitskaya (Grove) Tower
- The Water-Supplying Tower
- he Annunciation Tower
- The Secret Tower
- The First Nameless Tower
- The Second Nameless Tower
- The Peter's Tower
- The Mascworetskaya (Moscow River) Tower
- The Sts Constantine & Helen Tower
- The Alarm Bell Tower
- The Tsar Tower
- The Saviour Tover
- The Senate Tower
- The St Nicholas Tower
- The Corner Arsenal Tower
- The Middle Arsenal Tower
- The Secret Gardens
- The Alexander Gardens
- Gift shop and excursion centre
- The State History Museum
- The Church of the Intercession (St Basil's Cathedral)
- The Manege
- Okhotny Ryad Shopping and Entertainment Centre
- GUM Department Store
- Moscow State M.V. Lomonosov Uneversity
K - Left luggage
T - Public toilet
+ - First aid
Б - Cash point
M - Underground station
09:51:40 Approaching the Borovitskaya (Grove) Tower, the public entrance to the Kremlin (№20 on the map)
11:51:46 Domes of the churches just beyond the Grand Kremlin Palace: the Annunciation Cathedral (№3, left); the Archangel’s Cathedral (№4, right); the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower (№7, centre, background)
11:59:10 Fresco in the entrance of the Annunciation Cathedral. Beyond there, photography was not allowed.
12:13:48 Window of the Palace of the Facets (№10), with a reflection in it from the opposite side of Cathedral Square of the tower of the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower
Seemingly, in the Dormition Cathedral, every available space was covered with paintings, even the four huge supporting pillars — which reminded us of how Egyptian temples must have looked when they were covered, except that the Cathedral’s pillars were topped by arches, whereas the Egyptian ones were topped by straight lintels. I availed myself of a few minutes’ sit-down on one of the benches in that church. Back outside, Лидия took us to see the broken “Tsar Bell”—
Again, photography was not allowed in the Dormition Cathedral, but I found a photo on the internet that gives some idea.
Back outside the Kremlin, we waited for the coach. I managed to find a low wall to sit on to rest my painful right foot.
12:50:36 The Middle Arsenal Tower (№35) and the Corner Arsenal Tower (№34) viewed from the bridge. Note the Italian-style crenellation on the wall of the bridge.
13:30:48 We were deposited outside a “Seven Sisters” building just round the corner from Arbat Street.
13:30:58 We were deposited outside a “Seven Sisters” building just round the corner from Arbat Street.
It seemed unlikely that we were going to make the station for the scheduled 16:30 departure time; in fact, we were marginally late. Then the station parking-lot attendant seemed to be getting obstreperous with our driver. Eventually, we were out of the door, and the driver was frantically offloading our luggage. During this activity, one of the feet on one of our cases got broken off. So there we were, rushing in line to get to the station platform. Some railway official was petulantly waving us on, stabbing at his watch with his forefinger in annoyed fashion, and I in equally annoyed fashion called out, «Я знаю! Я знаю!» (“I know! I know!” — parroted from a line in Shostakovich’s 13th Symphony). I didn’t get time to photograph the waiting train, but here are photos from Wikipedia and manufacturers Siemens:
Сапсан (Sapsan, “Peregrine Falcon”) is the type of train we travelled on, known to manufacturer Siemens as Velaro RUS EVS.
“ЕСП-СЕРВИС” (“ESP-Servis” — wonder if “esp” is short for “express”): Пепси-Кола Лаит (Pepsi-Cola Light), Принглс (Pringles), Сникерс (Snickers).
I transferred all the photos so far from today to the “little feller” and edited 59 of them (18:04–20:36) for much of the 400-mile journey. There were recorded announcements on the train in a female Russian voice and in English in a male British voice. The stations the train stopped at sounded to me like /tver/, /belaraja/ and /tʃudava/, and must have been Тверь (Tver), Болого́е (Bologoye) and Чудово (Chudovo).
Photo of the restaurant, taken on 15 September 2012. The entrance and reception-point of the restaurant is left of the fireplace. The buffet is to the left of that, mostly out of shot. Our table this evening was out of shot to the right, under the overhang of the mezzanine floor.
Back up in the room, Janet unpacked what was needed, showered and went to bed. I found that there was a free wi-fi internet connection, so typed this message:
From: John E Cooper
Date: 11 September 2012 19:52
To: Chris Woodhead
Subject: St Petersburg
Just testing really: found a wi-fi connection named “PeterStar”. (Arrived in St Petersburg by train from Moscow a couple of hours ago.)
This made me chuckle: “РИВ ГОШ”. It took me a few seconds to realise that it was “Rive gauche”! And many such things one finds.
Card from Moscow is hopefully wending its way to you.
“19:52” was the time back home, so it was 22:52 when I
attempted to send the message. There was some error message back, though, that
the server couldn’t connect to “web.de” or something like that, so I
assumed that the e-mail wasn’t sent. [Chris did in fact get it — on 24th
September 2012!] Edited 13 more photos from today (23:28–23:48) before going
[Wednesday 12 September 2012]
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