I have been getting lots of Trans-Siberian travel tips from other travelers who are staying at the Godzilla's Hostel. These travelers are from Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Germany, Japan, but so far no Americans. Some of their comments included:
get some instant noodles to eat in case the food is bad or too expensive in the restaurant car,
use the plugs in the hallways, but stay by your electronics
- be nice to the train carriage attendant
- when the train stops and you get out, be sure keep alert for when it leaves
- take tea bags or instant coffee and a cup so you can use the hot water samovar in the carriage
I joined Florin--Flo--from Munich to take in the major tourist spots. We had quite the adventure using the Metro. The signage was all in Cyrillic, but unlike other Metros I have used in other countries, there were very few signs on the walls to show which station the train was stopping at. At least the different Metro lines were color coded. To get where we wanted to go, we would ask a young person---more likely to understand English-- to show us on the Metro map which direction we should go. Even after this advice, we found ourselves going in the wrong way twice. We then just jumped off the next stop and crossed the platform to go in the other direction.
The majority of the tourist sites are found around Red Square and the Kremlin so we started there. Unfortunately there was a lot of construction material affecting taking some great pictures. Here I am in Red Square with St. Basil's Cathedral behind me.
Once inside the Kremlin, we learned that the Clock Tower was closed, the Armoury sold out all of the admission tickets for the day, and one of the four cathedrals was closed for a service. At least we got good views of the outsides of these buildings. On the cathedrals we went into, the walls were filled with pictures, elaborate and ornate carvings, and hundreds of icons.
This Tsar cannon and bell have never been used.