TGI Saturday

cathedral.jpgWe're back at TGI Friday's tonight, taking advantage of their free high-speed wi-fi. We started today with breakfast at the MISiS dormitory. We had a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes. I ate the cucumbers, and skipped the tomatoes. Next came some Peach yogurt, I hate peaches, but this wasn't very strong, so it was good. I had some bread and some wonderful mild white cheese, I didn't get the name of it though. Next came some eggs (didn't touch them, I'll suffer through cucumbers, but I'm not eating eggs for anyone) and some sausages that looked like hot dogs, but were spicier and oozed some white goo when I cut into them. I finished the meal off with some type of donut that looks exactly like a Belgian waffle, but is sweeter.

Then, it was off for today's activities via the Metro (subway). Chuck, Alexey, and I picked up the second Olga we've met from MISiS, and headed out:

I put a lot of miles on the legs today, walking through the Kremlin, where I took many pictures (including some in a cathedral where it was prohibited, though I didn't know that at the time). The Kremlin is huge, but we had a tour guide named Svetlana who showed us around, and she spoke excellent english. She even had some jokes in her descriptions, though I'd studied Russian history enough to know when she was, shall we say, putting a positive spin on things? The history of the Czars is filled with dozens of murders, and coups, no matter how you shake it.

For lunch, we took the Metro to "Mu-Mu's" which is a cafeteria-style restaurant with a Holstein cow theme, like a Gateway computer box. I had some chicken caesar salad, which was good, some chicken entree with cheese, which was not good (I described it to Chuck as "fibrous" as I figured our hosts wouldn't know that word, and thus not take offense). I did have some excellent chocolate cake, and a beer stein full of orange juice too. Towards the end of the meal, we exchanged our second Olga for a third Olga, and her boyfriend. This Olga spoke super-excellent English and provided a great impromptu tour of our next stop.

After lunch, we went to the Tretyakov art gallery. This gave us the opportunity to walk several more miles and look at a lot of portraits of famous Russians, as well as Jesus. Most of the paintings were okay, same type of stuff you see in the National Gallery of Art, but I enjoyed the sculpture much more. Olga III provided a great tour though, you could tell she really loved the museum, and provided a lot of detail on the paintings. She's going to be doing the translation for our presentations on Monday, and I think she'll do a great job.

Alexey had begged off doing any more walking after lunch, and he disappeared into the city. We met him at McDonald's after the museum (didn't eat there) and returned to MISiS. After a brief rest, we headed to a restaurant called Pancakes, located just down the street. Their menu wasn't in English, but Alexey helped us avoid the Squid Pancakes, and Chuck and I settled for the relative safety of Apple, which was quite good, we washed it down with a bottle of Pepsi, then returned to our rooms to fetch our laptop computers.

Alexey left to visit some friends in the city, and Chuck and I headed here to TGI Friday's, since I knew they had free wi-fi from my research online. We're sipping our 50 ruble (~$1.50) cokes and leeching as much data as we can. The speed is great, even if we did just have to suffer through some guy covering "Hit me baby one more time" by Britney Spears.