We had three days in Moscow before checking into the Main Draw Hotel, the Korston. We stayed at a Marriott near Red Square. It was great to sleep in really comfortable, spacious beds for a few nights. By arriving so early before the event, we were able to master the subway system. It is very difficult to get around without knowing the language or alphabet. After the first day, we had our path down and could get around with relative ease.
The subway system is extremely impressive. There are marble pillars, statues, and beautiful trimming all through the subway stations. Besides the extravagance of its appearance, we were also impressed by the depth of the railways. We took an escalator down for three minutes. I timed it because it was the longest escalator any of us had ever seen. We are at the half-way point in the picture.
We were early in Moscow, so we decided to truly get a Russian experience. First, we ate dinner at a Russian restaurant and had borscht (traditional Russian beet soup), wild boar with a port raspberry sauce and buckwheat with mushrooms and figs. It was delicious.
The restaurant itself was very neat inside. We walked down a set of stairs and it felt like we entered another time and place.
After dinner, we walked to Red Square and stood in amazement at the beauty of the buildings and St. Basil's Cathedral. Then we pulled out our cameras and started snapping away. It was late at night, so we could not go inside of the Cathedral. I can only imagine how impressive it is on the inside.
The next day, we ventured to the ballet to see Coppelia at the Bolshoi Theatre near Red Square. It was truly magical! It was such a unique, wonderful experience. We enjoyed a champagne before the show and then took our seats and watched the incredible dancers do their art. I loved every second of it. The costumes were beautiful, the theatre was spectacular, and everything about the experience was incredible.
Our three day Moscow journey has ended and now we are back in tournament mode. We begin play tomorrow. We will find out soon who will be in our pool and then we will begin our mental preparation. We will watch video and focus in on our performance. Back to work!
The Manhattan Beach Open starts this coming Friday and we are so bummed to be missing it. It is very difficult on us to miss AVP events. We love playing on the AVP tour, but this is something we must do to not only improve our play, but to get the experience of competing on the international level. Trust me, we are very excited to return home and start competing "AVP style" soon!