Surprising! In one word that is the best description we can give to our adventure in Moscow. After more than 1,300 kilometres and twenty hours in a rocking sleeper train, the surprise already begins at the train station.
We intend to travel the four kilometres to our hostel by metro. For a million people city like Moscow, this is a piece of cake, we should be there in twenty minutes. Except the fact that, on arrival in Russia, you will not be able to read any of the Cyrillic script of the Russians. Made up out of completely different characters which can be found on every nameplate. English subtitles seem out of the question, and you have more chances of winning the jackpot than to find an English-speaking Russian at a train station in Moscow.
Yet two hours later, we arrive at the right alley where Hostel Rus should be. We extensively examine every door in the street and almost want to conclude that Hostel Rus does not exist. Some costly phone calls later, the hostel appears to be hidden in an anonymous building with no house number or name plate, completely untraceable in a side street of the actual address listed on the voucher. That’s how it goes in Russia.
Nevertheless, we appreciate that after a search of nearly three hours at 33 degrees Celsius (instead of the promised twenty minutes) plus a train journey of twenty hours, we can finally take a refreshing shower.