1 hour, this is what I have managed to sleep with a long day ahead of myself. I’m not too worried, and will sleep hopefully in the train to Nizhny later during the day.
As I leave the plane and go through security everything goes smoothly for my second trip using my Fan ID, though I sense the custom agent to be looking at my passport a bit puzzled, 2 trips in the course of 20 days !!! But Russia is definitely open during the world cup, Vladimir did the job.
First bad news while getting connected to 4G, my potential ticket reseller is ditching me but is kind enough to indicate a place where I should be easily able to get one. I wait for a couple of hours at the airport since it’s too early to do anything and decide to get a feel for the cheapest possible transportation. I hop on the bus at 5.30am and after a subsequent ride on the metro get to the train station Kurkskaya.
As I get to the ticket counter, I’m being told of my options. I either take the train leaving in 15 minutes for Nizhny or will have to wait until tomorrow. Given that I am to get a ticket for the game in Moscow and have no idea about how it’s going to work in Nizhny l, I decide not to risk it and will get my train tomorrow. 2 hours later around 9.30 I am given a free train ticket leaving the next day, game day, at 7am.
Second bad news, I don’t know where to sleep tonight.
On the plus side in the meanwhile I get a positive answer from my now host Andrew that he will be hosting me in Nizhny today (sic) and tomorrow.
After leaving my bigger bag at the locker room I now move on to getting my ticket and get to the place indicated by my supposed reseller. 5 minutes later after getting there I find a ticket half heartedly negotiated by its seller, who had still a lot left and get a ticket cheaper than the listed FIFA price (approx.. 200 vs 250 USD). Some good news.
It’s now 10 o’clock in the morning, I’m exhausted and have nowhere to rest. I realise that I have to be on the move and set about visiting Gorky park about 15 minutes walk from where I stand. There my dream comes true: giant bean bags laying in the sun.
I wake up 30 minutes later dizzy, though rapidly feeling a better and starts sending messages on social network and freecouching websites to get a free stay for the night and start preparing the ground for the other nights.
3 hours later as I am eating lunch I find hosts for all my stay (4 in total) in Moscow and Nizhny (1) is already covered. Some GREAT news !
My first host is French and lives in the city centre close to Kievskaya. I will meet him around 6 o’clock and will continue roaming around the city in the meanwhile, and get myself a nice souvenir from this trip.
Sebastien welcomes me by the building entrance gate and leaves to run an errand while introducing me to his flatmate. I rapidly decide for an hour nap, my salvation.
Where am I ? Who’s talking ? Oh yeah, I start remembering, 24 hours earlier I was In Zurich and I am now sitting on some stranger’s couch. He is offering me food now, salvation number 2, and pretty great local food actually (Plov). As I am getting fit again we start getting to know each other along with his flatmate and drinking vodka ! A lot !
Long story short after going clubbing with one of them and almost losing them, I get to bed at 3am with the alarm clock set for 5.30 am.
Another long day ahead and a train not to miss !
- Sim Card 8 Go : 700 RUB, 9 EUR
- Transport: 110 RUB, 1.5 EUR
- Train ticket: Gratuit
- Luggage locker: 500 RUB, 6.4 EUR
- Meals: 1910 RUB, 24.6 EUR
- I’m excluding the game ticket price but will sum everything up at the end
Total: 3220 RUB, 41.5 EUR