Monday, March 22, 2010

20 Hours in Nizh

Claire said we should write an article about what to do with 20 hours in Nizhnii Novgorod.  I'm going to try to give you the highlights of our trip, but first you need to understand that we are so lucky to get home safe.  You see, it took 3 tries to get there.

Claire, Lucia, and I first wanted to go over Women's Day weekend.  This would have given us 2 whole days to see the sights.  But, because it was a holiday, the train tickets were more than double the normal cost.  We decided to go a few weeks later.  Our tickets were to leave on Friday at 22:35 from Moscow, and return Sunday on the 16:35 train.  We got to the train station an hour early and saw that what we thought was our train wasn't to leave till 00:45.  Ok... so we sat around and read for a few hours.  When it was time to get on the train, at midnight, the lady checking tickets said "Нет поезд, нет вокзал!"

So, the lesson here is that there is a difference between Казанский Вокзал and Курский Вокзал even though the difference comes down to tiny letters printed on the bottom of the ticket.  We bought the tickets at Курский and the train was to return to Курский and it's the only station I had ever left from so why shouldn't we leave from there?!  Needless to say, we persisted to changing out tickets and we went home at 2am.  We reconvened at 10am to take a 12:50 train on Saturday.  From Казанский Вокзал.  We did not arrive until about 8:30pm that night.  After a little trouble checking in (bureaucracy, registration, эта Россия...), we soon we were able to get to the apartment of the RSP program director.  My friend Debbie was there and we ate pizza and actually found a bus running late enough to take us back to the hotel.

The hotel was quite nice and we all slept well.  Saturday morning Claire, Lucia, and I went to Debbie's for breakfast.  We wanted to go to church at Vineyard, where I had gone when I was a student, but it turned out that there was some kind of exhibition in the hall where church is normally held so there was no church.  It was actually probably better, time wise, that we could spend more time walking around the city.

The main pedestrian street is called Большая Покровская.  At one end is Полошодь Горкого and McDonalds, and at the other end is the Kremlin.  We walked the length, stopping to take pictures of the statues and to duck into little shops to end up at the Kremlin.  We had lunch in a cafe in the Kremlin wall that my mom and I had gone to when I was a student and it was very delicious.  A fog was rolling as we walked back to take a bus to our hotel.  By the time we got to the train station at 4pm the fog was quite thick and you couldn't see much out the windows of the train.  Good weather to be on a train, as opposed to a car or plane.  Did I mention the train is 7 hours?
It was a great trip, despite a few inconveniences, and I am so happy we were able to go.  Shout out to Debbie, the RSP mom who is one of the coolest девушки I know. 

1 comment:

Leah Dumey said...

(bureaucracy, registration, эта Россия...) ha ha no words more true :)

sounds like fun, though!


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