Arriving in Moscow

Previous page: The train ride from Vladimir


We meet our host Mubin

We soon spotted Mubin from the train window. We are staying with him and his wife, courtesy of the Couch Surfing community. He drove us back to his place along extremely busy roads.

One of the roads had nine lanes of cars going in one direction. We had never seen so much traffic. Mubin explained that Fridays are always busy on Russian roads as people are heading away for the weekend to the countryside. Mubin drove with the windows closed all the way back to his place as the air is so bad from petrol fumes. He explained that Russian petrol is notoriously bad. It took about an hour and a quarter to get to his place and with the windows closed tightly, it was quite warm in the car. He told us that on a Sunday morning he can go by car from his place to the centre of Moscow in only 15 minutes. What a difference!



Out the front of the railway station in Moscow Out the front of the railway station in Moscow
Klyazma River near Mubin's house Klyazma River near Mubin's house










Mubin's house is in the village of Klyazma, just off the main highway. It's quite beautiful with a river running nearby and so quiet and peaceful. He showed us his home and we found we have a lovely room in which to stay. Mubin fed us with a delicious vegetable soup and then rice and hot meat and salad. It was a tasty meal. We had more of the yummy Russian mayo that we like so much and cups of tea.

I think staying here will rejuvenate our faith in Couch Surfing. Yesterday we were ready to pull out of it the moment we got back to Australia.


Alexander's Gardens Alexander's Gardens
Ian and Mubin at the gardens Ian and Mubin at the gardens

We look around the Klyazma area

In the afternoon Mubin took us to see a wonderful garden nearby that is owned by his neighbour, Alexander. The garden is full of fantastic landscape features and many lily ponds. We really liked it and took heaps of photos. We then walked down by the river and had the pleasure of seeing our first ever musk rat. It was floating around eating grass amongst the water lilies. It looked quite cute really. We then went to the shops in the village and bought some fruit and vegetables. They were much cheaper than those back home in Australia. There really is a friendly village atmosphere here. I can see why Mubin and his wife prefer to live here rather than in a flat in Moscow – even if it does take them so long to commute into the city.


We listen to Kiril's powerful voice We listen to Kirill's powerful voice

We meet Lucia and Kirrill

We met Lucia, Mubin's wife, who had been at work all day. She doesn't speak English but she seems a very jolly, happy person. We liked her instantly.

We sat around the table and nibbled on some Dutch style cheese which is actually made in Russia. It really is very tasty. We had some fruit and several cups of tea and felt very much at home in Mubin's house.

I had a divine hot shower and Ian was then showering after me when a young neighbour of Mubin's arrived. He has just started having English lessons from Mubin. He wanted desperately to speak to us to test out his English. His name is Kirill and he really is a larger than life character. He is an accomplished baritone and a most surprisingly powerful singer for a 25 year old. He burst into song as soon as he arrived and had me mesmerized. Ian could hear him very clearly whilst in the shower. It was good fun being entertained by Kirill. He wants to learn English so he can go overseas to sing.

That night we had a comfy bed to sleep in – what a difference to the situation we were in at Artyom's home in Vladimir.


A hearty Russian breakfast

Next morning…….. We were served a great breakfast which included soft boiled eggs, bread, cheese, ham, fruity cottage cheese, butter, jam and cups of tea. It really was a lovely feast.

We got ourselves organized and set off with Mubin in his car to the village train station. It's a 5 minute drive from his house down lovely leafy lanes. Within moments of buying our tickets a train arrived to take us into the city.

Ticket office at the Klyazma railway station Ticket office at the Klyazma railway station
Leningradsky railway station - one of many in the city Leningradsky railway station - one of many in the city











It was a busy train ride but fairly fast. There was a continuous procession of people plying the train trying to sell small items to earn a living. They sold such things as books, children's toys and kitchen gadgets. There were also the busking sisters who looked like they should still have been in school. One played an accordion whilst the other sang and they wandered along the carriage with an open money bag after each performance. Sadly there was no roaring trade for any of them.

Once in the city we made a B-line for the Kremlin.




Next page - Kremlin, Moscow


Our trip in the order it happened:

Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

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