And it was an amazing, amazing trip.
It started out with a few hiccups. Since the weather was bad in London (surprise, surprise), our flight was delayed and so I ended up missing my connection in Zurich. But, you know. They tried to compensate and bribe me into complacency with Swiss chocolate.
It almost worked.
So instead of getting into Moscow around 6 pm, I got there at 11 pm. Kinda a big difference. But honestly, once I got into Moscow I was just so excited to be there, that it didn't really matter to me. Stepping onto the platform brought back so many memories. The smell of the station--oil, stale beer, and body odor--brought me right back to the streets of eastern Ukraine.
[My first view of Moscow.]
A good friend of mine (Derek, who is studying in Moscow) met me at the train station, so I didn't have to worry about getting a cab. In other words, Derek wins ALL OF THE PRIZES for helping me get around Moscow--especially having to pick me up at midnight during his finals week.
So instead of a cab, we took the Metro to my hotel. And people. The Moscow Metro system is amazing. It is also a web of confusion, but once you get the hang of it, it's not too difficult. (And it certainly helps if you know Russian.)
It was magical stepping out of the Metro stop and onto Red Square at midnight. Really, it was surreal. A memory to treasure.
It was too late to actually go onto Red Square, but I did see the Kremlin's red walls and St. Basil's from the gates. And for that night, it was enough.
[Quite the sight for travel-weary eyes.]
[It really is that red and beautiful.]
[The Bolshoi Theatre.]
I could scarcely believe that I was actually in Moscow, on a December night, seeing buildings from postcards and history books. It was just . . . it was quite the arrival and truly a magical night.