Monday, October 18, 2010

moscow, russia


We walked all over the city today, to the Arbat District, and then to the Kremlin. By the time we got to the Kremlin, it was nearing sunset, so we will go into the citadel tomorrow. Today, we stayed in Red Square, and walked around the outside circle, taking pictures right before sunset. The light was amazing, so we took advantage of that to get pictures of all the buildings. 
We took my gorillapod to the Kremlin the second day and I think I am in about 20 peoples' cameras because of it!! It attracts a lot of attention ... curiosity actually. People smile and take pictures of me while i crouch on the ground and kat's laughing in the background because i make her stand there to spot me.
COLD weather! Freezing cold weather again!!! It feels so strange to be back in Europe again, where everything is 10x more expensive, but the standard level of living is so much higher. Russia is no exception. Everything is expensive here, but I had to buy a nice coat...because when am I ever going to be in Russia like this again??!
The first thing we did as soon as we found our hotel [which is a Basilica btw!!!], was find an H&M so that we could replace our summer gear with winter gear. Since we anticipate it getting just as cold in Eastern Europe and Western Europe, investments in coats, tights, sweaters, and accessories are all worthwhile. I packed a lot of technical gear from REI, but they are just not so cute. They are more for places like Nepal and Tibet, where trekkers flock to...but in Russia, the women dress formally. They are dressed to the nines ALL the time. Boots, tights, sweaters, and the most gorgeous coats I have ever seen in one place. Everywhere I walk, women off all sorts [rich, poor, short, tall, professional, unprofessional] are in the most beautifully tailored coats and winter boots. We couldn't not wear that too!!
H&M here is fantastic. It caters to Russian women and men, so it is fully stocked with mittens, tights, hats, and a whole roomful of coats. I found a grey one with a crew collar and lightweight although it keeps the warmth in. Perfection. This coat is going to be worn everyday while I am in Europe!!!
I also found the most perfect pair of black pants/tights/yoga pants at Topshop. I am frequently on their online store, but I have never bought anything from Topshop before until now!! My first purchase is amazing and I'll be seen in it pretty much everyday with variations in sweaters!

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