April 9th, 2010 by sneedlestone
After spending the night inside the airport, I made my way back to Moscow town center with a couple of other Chelsea fans around 8am(local time). Although I didn’t get much sleep that night , the atmosphere inside the terminal was friendly on both sides. And I enjoyed a beer or two with both Manchester United and Chelsea supporters. The fact that everyone on the whole got on with no trouble even directly after the final whistle, when tensions can often run high, says alot for the fans of both teams. In fact this was the case throughout the whole of my journey.
Sheremetyevo airport was a fair trek from the town center. And in order to get there I had to jump on board one of the very busy local buses from outside the terminal, which would then take me back to the Moscow Metro.
While the cost of living in Moscow is dear, public transport is relatively inexpensive. However unlike the modern clean trains, the bus I was on was old, run down, dirty and slow. I stood up for the entire ride. I’m guessing we must have been in some kind of rush hour as the roads were jam packed. People don’t talk much inside public transport, so when I suddenly got a phone call from the Capital Gold Breakfast show, you bet everyone was staring at me with interest. What a weird moment talking live on air to James Cannon and Erika North in the middle of a packed out bus, somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow.
I was tired, disappointed about the result and a bit confused. So I guess I wasn’t really too worried about my surroundings, or the fact that half the bus was staring me out. I’ve never been on any radio before, in fact it was my brother unbeknown to me who had contacted them on my behalf. As far as I can remember I did OK, although to be fair I don’t remember too much. I do remember the last question they asked was something along the lines of ” is there anything you would like to say to other Chelsea fans out there”. I’m guessing I was meant to say that Chelsea would be back etc. but under the circumstances all I could think of in reply was “yes what I would like to say is I am tired and I just want to go to bed”. Well at least I was honest!
Anyway after a long bus ride I eventually found my way back on to the Metro system, together with two other Chelsea fans. We decided to head toward the famous Red Square. Using the metro had been easy the previous day as all I had to do was follow the hordes of football fans. To be honest it’s probably not too difficult to navigate the system. However with the station names all in Russian Red square was actually “Okhotny ryad”, and unfortunately I did not know this. In fact with few or no name signs inside the stations , it was hard at times to even know which station I was in. I did know we were heading from the outskirts toward the center, and with a little help from the other two lads we did get there in the end. Even if I did do my best to take us in the wrong direction.
After some lunch, I managed to lose the two lads I was with, or maybe they managed to lose me. Not to worry as I still got to see all the sights that Red Square had to offer including the Kremlin and the various ornate Cathedrals.
Unfortunately like much of my stay in Russia the weather wasn’t great. And after walking around most of the area, ducking in and out of heavy showers I made my way back to Moscow Rijskaja. From where my sleeper train back to Riga would depart.