由莫斯科坐西伯利亞鐵路出發，經蒙古烏蘭巴托去北京，全長 7,621 公里，不下車的話，要坐足 6 個晚上。持特區護照有 14 天免簽證，俄羅斯段只需坐 4 晚，在莫斯科先留幾天，還有時間選幾個城巿停數天，下車洗澡，遊覽一下。
我倆認為坐兩晚火車已是極限，停留的城巿大小不拘，只要抵埗和離開時間都在晨早就可以了，因此 Tyumen 成為了我們的第一站，停留時間剛好一整天。
第二站是較受歡迎的 Irkutsk，離 Tyumen 兩晚車程，遊客都為了到訪全球最深的淡水湖 Lake Baikal 而去，我們決定在那停留 3 晚。第 3 站停烏蘭巴托 5 晚，然後坐 31 小時到北京，一共 4 程車。我們 6 號莫斯科上車，21 號到北京。
Our flight from Berlin to Moscow was only about three hours. We arrived in the early evening around 1830, but the queues at immigration took forever. When we finally got through border control, we hopped on the airport train to Moscow and finally arrived in the city close to 2200.
As I had heard from other travelers, Moscow’s subways are beautiful works of art, and they were impressive, but being tired and carrying all of our luggage, I wasn’t too focused on anything but getting to our accommodation. We booked an apartment located only a five minute walk to the Red Square, so we were right in the heart of Moscow.
When we came out of the underground, the street was packed with a people everywhere, there was hardly any space for us to move with our big backpacks. The strange thing was the crowd was almost silent. Ming Hay and I looked at each other like we had just entered the twilight zone. It wasn’t until we broke away from the crowd and could see the street that things got even weirder.
The streets were filled with military tanks, trucks, soldiers and every other type of military equipment that I have only seen before in movies. My first impression of Russia left me literally speechless. The situation may have also been heightened in my mind because the book I was reading on the plane was about the history of the Cold War, but it was the strangest thing to unknowingly walk into.
When we got to our apartment, our host’s friend was there to let us in and show us around. In his limited English, he explained that they were practicing for a military parade that would happen two days later on the anniversary of the end of WWII. We had a big sigh of relief and a laugh when we learned why the military had taken over the city. Although it was late and we were tired, we grabbed our cameras and headed down to enjoy this odd experience.
I didn’t have any expectations before visiting Moscow and it was a place I wasn’t really excited about seeing. After only a few days in the city, I can honestly say, I was blown away by Moscow. It is a gorgeous city. The cleanliness of the city was absolutely amazing. There was no rubbish on the streets, not even a cigarette butt.
The architecture is so grand and embellished both inside and out. The buildings are colorful and churches are golden. If you pay close attention when walking down the street, you will see things that might have otherwise been missed.
St. Basil’s Cathedral was amazing to see in person. Photos of this place are always striking, but seeing it in real life made me feel like I was in Candy Land. My favorite architectural display was the Eliseevskiy grocery store. Inside, were magnificent chandeliers and design. I felt like I had walked in to an old mansion or on to a Wes Anderson film set, not a grocery store.
My first few days in Russia were enlightening. I saw amazing things and learned things that I never would have had the chance to if I didn’t visit for myself. Although the visa process was a little tricky, I feel like I’m an expert now, and I would love to come back for another visit.