Last full day, oh well, all good things etc...
Damn, late for breakfast again!
We started the day without any fixed plans but decided to go out for coffee and see where it leads. We caught the trolley bus as usual and just for giggles, it turned off the main road and headed up a side street. Curse not being able to read bus route numbers. We picked a random bus stop to get off and after checking the GPS, headed off walking toward Red Square. It was an interesting stroll around the back streets.
After the last few days being wow'd by the history, today it was the modem shopping malls we were checking out. At Red Square we found our way into the underground shopping mall and went in search of the loo. It was a bit of a surprise to find that it cost 20 roubles to pee, oh well, when you gotta go etc...
We eventually had our coffee at what has turned out to be our coffee franchise of choice, the name looks a bit like "Kobe X-ray" in Russian but actually translates to Coffee House. The mall like most I suppose is mostly women's clothing shops and a food hall. It was all very stylish and the shops were mostly posh European name brands. There doesn't seem to be any real winter fashion here, the indoors are all heated to the point that everyone wears summer fashions indoors and layers the winter fashion over the top to go outside. So there is my fashion report from Moscow for winter 2011/12.
After extracting ourselves from this mall, we headed up into Red Square and into the GUM Department store. Now this place is the place posh people go to buy the latest fashion and mere mortals go for a look. It makes the QVB in Sydney look like a KMart. We strolled around here for a while, did the last of our shopping, ate an icecream, (minus two degrees outside and hot enough to eat icecream inside, go figure). We found a non-pay toilet and decided to try for photos of the Metro.
The entry and exit to the GUM is a big revolving door, well as we were trying to leave, there were so many people trying to get in, the door was jammed and stopped revolving. Kat and I stood back and watched this in amazement as more people crammed into the door. Just as they almost got that sorted out, a great crowd from inside tried to get out, jamming the door from the other side. It was unreal, some people there tried to get some of the idiots to back out of the door, but more just tried to get through WTF. It was like a three stooges movie. One lady went around to the side of the revolving door and opened the service entrance, so we got out through that and left the rest of them to it.
Our next quest was to try and get to the Metro. This was an ordeal all of its own. The queue to the ticket window was just chaotic and we didn't even know how much it was going to cost. It ended up only being about 50 roubles. Then it was down into the bowels of the earth. The big disappointment was that this was not one of the stations with all the artwork. Oh well, at least we had seen the artwork in the other stations, even if we didn't get photos.
Next problem was, how to get back to the surface. The way out of the station was different to the way down so we ended up in some random street a block or so from where we started. Checking the trusty GPS again and we were on the right track back to our hotel. The way to the hotel took us past the Bolshoi Theatre, so that was an interesting detour.
It was a long walk back so we needed another coffee to see us through. At the shop a lady started talking to Kat in Russian, when Kat told her that we could only speak English, she apologized and explained in English that we didn't look like foreigners!
Well now we are back at the hotel, packing and watching a crappy 1950s movie.
Next stop the airport.