|Christmas trees for sale|
The thing that struck is most, though, about our train journey was the very strange game the fare-dodgers play with the ticket inspectors! The first time it happened, a few minutes into our ride, we really didn't know what was going on! The young guy sitting opposite us got up and walked quickly down the aisle, leaving his belongings behind on the seat. He joined a wave of people all doing the same thing. It was only when we were asked to show our tickets that we twigged! Everyone who had got up and preceded the inspectors down the train was doing so because they hadn't bought a ticket! When the train stopped at the next station, we saw all of these people running back down the platform to rejoin the train behind the team of inspectors. Our travelling companion was soon back in his seat, only to repeat the whole process again a few stops down the line! It seemed to us like a whole load of hassle to avoid a very reasonably-priced fare (about $4 for an hour and forty minute journey), but they must have thought it was worth it. The inspectors clearly know what's happening as they walk through the half-empty carriages with abandoned coats and bags left behind!
|GUM department store|
See more photos of Christmas in Moscow here.
|Skating in Red Square, overlooked by the Kremlin|