Moscow! Been waiting a long time to get here and first impressions are it will not let me down! History, architecture, cool and really happening place!
Hotel Peter 1 take a bow, spot on and you let us check in very early! Russia very defiantly back in good books! Met Ivan and off to Kremlin! Wow! No point in me trying to describe - you have to come! President Putin was in his office, flag flying, loved by his people(nt)!
Private security guards everywhere and very visible, on the doors of every shop. Appears that 4"+ heels are de rigour for the ladies! Still coming across the unusual - today not a man taking leak in a bin like UB but an old lady hitched up skirt and had a pee on the pavement, right in front of the Bolshoi Ballet House!!!!
Our hotel 10min walk to Red Square and just around the corner from the Lubyanka - old KGB HQ, gulp!
Going to really enjoy next 2 days hanging out here!
Arrival at station was like a military operation. Guide (Egor) met us at the train, spoke briefly and moved us quickly through security and out side to a car where he disappeared without saying a word after he passed us onto a Russian driver in a flash black car ( all flash cars are black over here) who spoke no English and drove us quickly to the hotel. We were given a room immediately which was a real bonus.
At 11 am a new guide arrived (Ivan) who also had a degree in History and worked in a museum. Off to the Kremlin for a 4 1/2 hour tour. The Armoury is absolutely jaw dropping in the amount of wealth it contains and the beauty of the precious jewels, gold, silver, platinum items - unbelievable beauty. Our guide was a wealth of knowledge (Huw was losing the will to live after a while - a lot of dry facts!!) The Church of Assent ion and Church of Assumption contained stunning icons dating back to the 10th C .as well as the shrines of deceased patriarchs and Tzars. The whole Kremlin area was a huge surprise.
Back to our lovely hotel to sit in the lobby with a pot of tea and use the free WiFi ( bit rough that a 4 1/2 star hotel doesn't have free WiFi in the room!)
Our hotel room is gorgeous, large windows from ceiling to the floor, very spacious with a huge bathroom. Good Italian meal for dinner.