It was finally our last day in Moscow. This day was sort of an extra one because of the mess-up when booking the train tickets. 🙂
For breakfast we chose Fresh, which has surprisingly good vegetarian and vegan food. They had a really good selection of smoothies and vegetarian dishes. We got excited and ordered a whole lot of things and everything was really good, so if you’re vegetarian or vegan, this is definitely a place for you!
After breakfast we headed towards Flacon, which was founded 150 years ago as a crystal and glass factory, which manufactured perfume bottles. It went through many modernization phases until early 21st century when the factory closed. After that the factory was bought by new owners, who turned the old factory into “design factory”. Nowadays you can basically rent space for any of your creative needs. At the moment there are a few cafes, shops, and working spaces. Very much a hipster dwelling, but it was rather different from a lot of places in Moscow.
There was a cafe in Flacon and while we didn’t want any food, it was quite hot, so we got a drink and a shake. Both were really good!
Also in Flacon I made the only one purchase during our entire time in Russia (not counting food, tickets, and taxi). In Flacon, there was a shop by Bat Norton, which was very much to my taste. A lot of black and minimalistic design. 🙂 The clothes were also mostly made of cotton, so not a lot of man-made materials there. The price was was also quite reasonable.
After Flacon we finally headed to the Tretyakov gallery to see some art. The tickets cost 350 rubles (5,8€) per person and were totally worth it. The museum had some really wonderful art! My guess is that taking photos was not allowed there and that is why I don’t have any photos from the museum. 🙂
As our train was leaving at 11 p.m., so we needed to eat something before that, get our stuff from the hotel and take the taxi to the train station. I have read a book called Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables and while I thought that the book should have been a one-pager instead of an actual book I did take one thing away from it. Shannon says that the money should be spent on something that really brings you extra value and she always takes a taxi when she travels with a heavy suitcase. In the past I have chosen public transportation 90% of the time, but this has changed in the past and I have indeed chosen taxi more. As a friend of mine puts it “I have never regretted taking a taxi, but I sure have regretted not taking one.” 😀
Anyway, on our last night in Moscow, we chose the restaurant Barashka (Барашка), which serves Central-Asian food. We don’t really have restaurants serving this type of food in Helsinki, so we need to enjoy it when we can. 🙂 Surprisingly they served very good mojito, despite it definitely not representing the drinks of the region. 😉 Of course the camera turned itself on in the bag and ran out of power, so I had to take pictures with my camera phone in the restaurant, so picture quality is what it is.
For starters we chose khatchapuri and an assortment of salted appetizers.
For main course I asked for recommendation and was recommended veal medallions with potatoes, which were absolutely amazing! My boyfriend chose roast with veal and he liked the dish as well.
For dessert I chose passion fruit parfait, which was really good and my boyfriend chose something strange as he often does. 😉 He chose an Azeri yoghurt drink, which basically tasted like drinkable yoghurt and wasn’t very sweet. I liked my dessert better. 😉
Just as we paid and left the restaurant it started raining, so we spent good 20 minutes standing inside some bank’s ATM foyer, which was luckily open. Neither of us has brought an umbrella (again!). We took a metro to the hotel, got our luggage, and asked the reception to call us a taxi, which they did. It drove us to the Leningradskiy Station and the cost was 500 rubles (8,3€) if I remember correctly. Usually I make sure that I have the exact amount for the taxi, but this time I only had 1000 ruble bill left. I asked the driver whether he has change for a thousand and he said that he had people asking him this all day and somebody even tried to pay with 5000 ruble bill. So I just said that he can give me what he has and I’ll just give him the thousand. I got a couple of hundred rubles back, but that’s fine. We were leaving anyway and we’re not talking about a big amount of money, so I just consider it as our last tip in Moscow and making it a bit generous. 😀
As I mentioned, our train was leaving at 23:00 and we were there maybe half an hour in advance, so we were first in line for the boarding. This actually turned out to be a nice coincidence as it turned out that the Finnish railways has managed to sell our train cabin twice, but as we were there first, we got to stay in the cabin and the train hostess found him another cabin to travel in. Fortunately it seemed that there was room on the train. Later when the train hostess returned our tickets (I sincerely recommend printing them!), she said that there was another incident with a cabin being double booked. So yay for the Finnish Railways’ booking system…
The trip back was ok for me, but then again I can sleep anywhere. We had a first class cabin, which was really nice as there were only the two of us in it. The trip lasts 14 hours, so it felt nice to not have strangers in it. My boyfriend could barely get any sleep, but I slept mostly fine. We were woken up at 7 a.m. for the customs checks, but they went quite smoothly. We were just asked about having alcohol and cigarettes, but nothing was checked.
We finally arrived in Helsinki at quarter past one. Traveling is fun, but it is also nice to get home, take a shower, wash all the laundry and get back to the routine for a while. 🙂