I've been trying to think if I should start out this post with something sappy, like, "we left St. Petersburg as a grey sunrise dawned upon the city . . ." or something like that, but that would make the trip seem a lot more peaceful than it was.
Because let's be honest. Even in the most ideal of situations, travel in Eastern Europe is never smooth sailing.
I can't remember exactly how the trip to the train station went, but I think we went the wrong way at one point . . . good thing we planned in extra time to get lost and confused, because that always happens when you travel with me. Hurray.
But we made it to the train station and got on the fast train to Moscow (403 miles in 4 hours). Moscow in the summer is like most big cities in the summer: hot, crowded, smoggy, and smelly. Yet I love it. I really do love Moscow. I love its metro system, I love its history, I love its people. Some of my best moments of this trip were just sitting in Alexandrovski Garden, eating breakfast and watching the crowds pass by. Moscow has such a distinctive feel--in American terms, it feels like a mixture of New York and D.C., . . . but Moscow is its own entity entirely. And I love it.
[Red Square on a summer's day.]
We didn't get many pictures in Moscow together--Briana was scrambling to get settled in her new place before I left (and I had to leave all too soon because my visa was going to expire), so most of those Moscow days are simply committed to memory. But I was so grateful for another chance to see this remarkable city. Again, I hope I get another chance to go back. It's impossible to know where life will take me or the history of this world, but I do know that there seems to be a magnet drawing me back to all things Eastern Europe.
. . . but the trip saga still isn't over. I had one last stop before heading back to England's green and pleasant land and then onto the land of the free and the home of the brave . . .