The train to Beijing was not scheduled to leave until 21:35 so despite a forecast of showers, I decided to spend my last day in Moscow by taking a walk through Gorky Park.
But first, a word about the Mandarin Hotel. I thought it was very good. The staff were friendly, my room on the 7th floor was quiet with no smell of smoke. The only disappointment was the internet speed. The actual WiFi connection was good. It was the connection speed from their WiFi router to the internet that was the problem.
The breakfast was included and there was a huge variety of things to eat. The second morning I saw a sign in English saying you could order an omelette and so I did so for each of my two remaining days.
There was no problem checking out and having them store my luggage until later in the day when I walked to the station to catch my train. I almost forgot to mention that the hotel was about 20 - 25 minutes walk from the station that I arrived in from St P and that station was right next to the station for the train to Beijing. There was a metro station about 15 minutes away with a supermarket next to it. All very convenient.
I booked it through Hotwire. It was a much classier hotel than the one in St P. The area looks a bit seedy at first but then you realize there are an awful lot of office workers in the area. Again, I used Streetview to check my way in advance. I had to turn at a corner with a purple wall.
On the way to the metro. You may notice the channels on the right. These are too deep for most wheeled luggage. They are actually meant for strollers and prams.
The bridge over the river from the metro station to the Park. Yes, there are a lot of cars in Moscow.
Could that actually be a Space Shuttle in the distance? More later.
Entrance to the Park.
Now this would be a hit on the streets of North East, Maryland.
As usual, I will not comment too much. Just enjoy it as much as I did strolling along.
Moscow was distinctly warmer than St P so many of the trees were flowering.
They still had their daffodils however.
It looks like a shuttle.
But then you look more closely and you realize the door on the actual Space Shuttle would not look like the door to a shed.
Those are not shuttle engines. It was actually a place where you could rent a bicycle.
Floating restaurant on the other side of the river.
Typical Soviet architecture.
Enjoying the sun and the warmth.
It was very pleasant strolling beside the river.
A very interesting way of providing wheelchair access.
There is a hilly section that leads to a plateau. It was a bit of a climb and I was glad of the exercise.
I was taken by this old woman quietly reading a book. You don't see too many old people in Russia, particularly men. Insufficient and poor diet, vodka and cigarettes do have an effect. The young people look very healthy and many of the young women are very good looking. So many look like they were born to be ballerinas.
A squirrel enjoying the day.
I sat on a bench for quite a while enjoying the peace and quiet. I was intrigued by the bird house and thought I would eventually wander over to take a look.
Nature intervened in the shape of showers. I scurried over to the bird house to take shelter under the eaves. The woman with the book hoisted an umbrella and scurried off. I did have my small umbrella with me but decided to use the shelter.
Some other people sheltered in this monument.
The male. If somebody recognizes the type of bird, let me know or add a comment.
Water poured down.
There was just enough overhang. These were workers who seemed to be installing fiber optic cable, presumably for internet access in the park. Free internet is available in the metro and at the major train stations. It makes a lot of sense since it reduces the load on the 3G and 4G cell networks.
The shower ended so I proceeded back to the park entrance.
Small soccer ground.
Intriguing building with a combination of round and other shapes.
Suddenly there was a loud peal of thunder so I scurried into this restaurant and had lunch. I ended up with a salad that was very good. And a cold beer of course. The waitress had a little English.
This was another place where you could rent a bicycle.
The showers then past by leaving a beautiful afternoon.
I am not sure why they have these white balls surrounding the observatory.
Pavilion where artists display their wares. There were plenty of paintings, but almost no buyers.
This sculpture thing consisted of chains hanging down. You made your own space in it.
Statue to Peter the Great at one end of the big island in the Moscow River.
One last Cathedral. After enjoying the Park so much, I had no desire to go investigate yet another cathedral.
Overall, I much preferred St P to Moscow though I have heard others prefer Moscow. I could go back to St P but I don't have any great desire to return to Moscow. It depends what your interests are I suppose.