>Days 47/48. Hong Kong to Moscow.

>Day 47 was the full day of travel. Brutal. The good news is the airplane from Hong Kong to London had the full beds. And the other good news is the hotel let me check in at 5:00am this morning when I got here! That saved me, as I was exhausted and don’t know what I would have done that early in the morning in a strange city that was obviously asleep when I got here (although they say this city never sleeps either….must be in a different neighborhood). I did set the alarm so I could get up for the breakfast buffet (as I was asleep when they handed out dinner on the plane) and am now sitting in the opulent dining room with painted glass skylights and gold everywhere and a harpist playing. Absolutely beautiful! Afterwards, I might still get in another little nap before I head out into the streets. Cynthia arrives tomorrow.

When I arrived here, I had arranged for a car to pick me up at Cynthia’s suggestion. I had also read that it’s tough getting a taxi here, since hardly anyone speaks English and so it could be difficult getting to your hotel, and I wasn’t about ready to try out the subway at 5:00am (although I look forward to seeing their subway stations, as my friend, Denise, told me they are unbelievably ornate). The ride from the airport was gray, dull, boring (just like the ride from lots of airports, including NYC), and then my driver spoke for the first time, saying something in Russian (he was supposed to speak English!), then we turned the corner and there, lit up in all its glory, was Red Square! I felt like I was in a Tom Clancy novel…trying to get to my contact on the bridge in Gorky Park to deliver “the” package before the sun comes up :-)) I’ve obviously read too many of those….

…After another short rest, I did go out and explore the city for the rest of the day. It is a bit intimidating since I can’t read the street or any other signs, so its good I have a good sense of direction as I was able to get back to the hotel after about five hours of wandering around.

Wow, I never realized there would be so many gold domes…

Etcetera, etcetera….In every direction.

I arranged a two hour walking tour for Saturday for Cynthia and me with an English speaking guide, so I’ll save the city narrative until after that tour. Also looks like there is a Russian army band concert tomorrow night, and the Moscow circus on Saturday night. And…they delivered our tickets that we had ordered a month or so ago for Sunday night’s premiere performance of a new production, Lost Illusions, at the Bolshoi ballet!!!

So, tomorrow, I put out the welcome mat for my first travel companion, and we can navigate the language barrier together!!

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Location:Moscow, Russia.

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