Horseradish Vodka

Monday, March 7, 2011

We arrived to Moscow at 7:55 yesterday after leaving St. Petersburg at midnight the night before, so we were both completely exhausted upon arrival. We didn’t go to sleep on the train right away (our business class tickets included a free beer – how could we refuse?), and breakfast was served at 6:45. Plus, there was a rattling sound in our compartment that made it hard to sleep. Fortunately we were able to check in to our hostel early, so we unloaded our bags and took a short nap. The hostel room is nice, although it’s lacking certain amenities that we had been expecting (namely, a full kitchen – there’s a microwave and fridge only – and wi-fi access. The washer/dryer situation is to be determined, but it’s not looking promising). As a result, our blog entries will be posted and backdated as we’re able to get online.

We spent most of the afternoon navigating the metro to go pick up our tickets for the Bolshoi ballet and locate the restaurant where we were planning to eat dinner. The ticket exchange experience was reminiscent of our St. Petersburg train experience, but not quite so bad. We walked in a couple circles before we even found the Bolshoi Theater, and then the ticket office appeared to be closed. We wandered into what seemed like the Administrative building, where a very nice man who didn’t speak English, but was able to figure out from our e-ticket printout that we needed the ticket office. So he kindly bundled up and walked us over where we needed to go (turns out we were at the wrong ticket office).

After getting all our logistics figured out, we went back to the hostel to get dressed for our classy evening of dinner and the ballet. We went to a restaurant called Kitezh, which was fantastic! The atmosphere was old-fashioned rustic elegance, and the food was delicious. Our spread included lamb in the “Tifli” style (which apparently is wrapped in bacon), Siberian dumplings with sour cream, and rabbit with a very decorative display of vegetables.

To top off our decadent meal, we were each given a complimentary serving of the restaurant’s own special flavored vodka – in this case the flavor was horseradish! I was skeptical at first, but it was surprisingly tasty.

And to make things even better, the vodka was served in a glass made of ice.

After dinner our waitress brought a complimentary sugar flower and glass of sweet champagne – “for the mademoiselle”. I must say I am quite enjoying all these complimentary drinks!

Here we are on our way out, all gussied up for the Bolshoi.

The ballet was lovely, although I wished I had been better rested beforehand. It was so dark and warm in the theater and the music was so relaxing that I was incapable of keeping my eyes open for a good portion of the first act. Cale was also having a hard time not dozing off, so we got some Pepsi during the first intermission, which helped us stay awake during the second and third acts. The ballet we saw was Don Quixote, and I was surprised at how small a role Don Quixote actually played in it. The plot centered more the love story of a young couple. The dancing was perfect, and the costumes were extravagant. Nearly everyone was wearing something that sparkled. Sadly, I have no pictures to share since photography was not allowed.

Today we are off to visit the Moscow Kremlin!


Katy said...

Trip looks awesome so far! It's making me seriously miss Russia! (And you guys.)

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