So, I believe I left off with my visiting the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, yes? Well, shortly after that, I made what may have been the most stupid decision that I've made in all of Russia....that's right, I ate the shashlik. It was from a cheap kiosk next to the metro station, I was hungry, and it smelled REALLY good. Little did I know what sorts of agonies it would inflict on my digestive tract less than 24 hours later.
A Cheap, Delicious Mistake of Epic Proportions
Of course, I was not aware of this until much later...at the time, it was tasty and affordable, which are my top criteria when it comes to food.
Anyway, getting back to my narrative...the next morning, I went with some friends to the Izmailovsky market located behind the hotel. I have never seen a more insane hodge-podge of stuff in my life. There were vendors selling just about everything...i saw mammoth ivory, tasers, chess sets, nesting dolls, wolf skins, icons, daggers, old Soviet medals, and even a guy who looked to be selling Kalashnikovs. (And NO, Mom, I didn't buy one.....although you'll probably have enough of a heart attack over what I did buy, hahaha)
Random souvenir-buying aside, the market was a very interesting place...later, I had lunch at the Moscow Hard Rock Cafe (not exactly my choice, but my friends wanted to go, so whatever). We took some silly photos with the monument to Alexander and Natalia Pushkin, and then Hillary and I made tracks for Kazansky Voksal (Kazan Station) to await our train.
Oh, except for one little problem: we didn't actually have our tickets yet (I'd purchased them online).
Yep, the one thing that we absolutely needed to get on the train, we did not have.
Fortunately, there was an E-ticket registration booth in the station, and the lady working there was EXTREMELY helpful...she managed to figure out what we were trying to do, despite ou mangled Russian, and after several minutes of searching through the station database, she found a way to print out our tickets, allowing us to embark on the Train Ride From Hell.
(The events of that train ride are in no way her fault, however, and I am still eternally grateful to her for being willing to put up with our shitty, shitty Russian and taking the time to check for our tickets despite my lack of a proper receipt)
This concludes Moscow....tomorrow, I will begin writing about Kazan.