26.06.2012 - 28.06.2012 19 °C
26thJune Kazan to Nizhny Novgorod
8am start this morning and its hot already. We weave our way through the morning traffic to go to the Kazan Kremlin. An impressive fort atop a hill overlooking the Volgar. It was mostly destroyed by the Soviets and has been restored. Some of the buildings are wonderful. Was most impressed with the restored Mosque only just commissioned and finished in 2005. The mosaics and tile work incredible. We had to put on plastic overboots and I a scarf on my head, Well worth the 3Roubles. Hit the city traffic again 11am and it was very heavy. Caught up with the Holden (which had a hissy fit and pulled out on the way) and ‘tail’ out on the ring road and off into the countryside again. The roads were ghastly today so many road works. Hard going and slow. We met the city traffic about 4pm and it took us 2 hours to get to the hotel. A hotel worth forgetting, we came out to chunder on the cars in the morning, from a graduation the night before. It also had an Irish Bar, a ‘Sexaphonic’ Strip Club, and Mikes steak was overcooked. Enough said.
27th June Nizhny Novgorod to Moscow
Managed to get away at 7.45am and out of the city was easy at that hour. Almost straight away were on a duel-carriaageway which lasted all day to Moscow. A much easier days driving for Mike. In saying that there was ashort stretch of bridge-works, lighted and only one-way. Once through we checked off 6kms of trucks waiting to go through the light system. Wouldn’t be a truckie on a day like that. There is just so much traffic and the loads are something else. Arrived 3.30pm. We are staying in the Olympic Village accommodation buildings. There are three huge high-rises. We are only on the 9th floor. There are so many places to eat and a thriving village atmosphere, markets, fun parks, malls, supermarkets all around the area. We are quite a way from Central Moscow but not a problem. Have a city tour tomorrow and a lay-day Friday.
28th June MOSCOW
Well the Moscow Circus!!. Our City Tour started at 10am and were home 5pm. In that time we had 2hours in Red Square and 1&1/2 hrs at a motor Muzeum. The rest of the time we were driving around getting to those two places. So we are OFF City Tours. There are some impressive buildings in Moscow there is no doubt, and the city is clogged with traffic and there are lots of people. Have we seen this before? Yes I think so. They didn’t even give us time for a lunch break so we are off out to dinner early. Some of our group are going to endure a couple of hours of Russian Dancing to-night, but alas not us. We and the two ‘tails’ are eating Italian down the road.
28th June Moscow
We are having a lazy day today. Walked around the local market this morning and bought Mike a Russian Policeman’s Hat (for the collection ! ). Another explore/walk in the afternoon and a quiet night. We are away 5am tomorrow so won’t be up late. It is cooler here today which is a welcome rlief from what we have had recently.