After arriving in Moscow from my flight from Saransk, I was well and truly done by a rogue taxi driver. At 2am the airport was totally packed. No cars to be found on Uber or other Russian apps that I have on my telephone.
All I wanted to do was sleep, so I took the decision to get a taxi. I was charged over £100. The taxi driver was a kind muslim who supported Manchester United but he explained that he was governed by his “owners” who wanted a large percentage of the fare. After a stop off at a cash point I had no option but to hand over the money.
My alarm woke me up at 10.10AM. But 10.45 I was in the Moscow metro on my way to the principle stadium for the World Cup, the refurbished Luzhniki Stadium.
Everything seems to be branded here, even some of the metro trains.
It is impossible to get a clean shot of the stadium, well any stadium close up. There are barriers all around the stadium with fans and media having to pass through make shift buildings containing heaps of x-ray machines.
Again I was in Group 3 for ticket collection. Two hours prior to kick off is when I can decide on where to sit.
All the spots behind the goal had long gone. I opted to go on the far side with the linesman running past. I had viewed a game at the stadium on TV and knew that in the second half that there light should provide some interesting options.
Portugal were the home team, yet wore their away kit of white.
I was blocked for what was the winning goal and then Ronaldo decided to run the other way from me, but probably to his girlfriend who was in the crowd.
The second half was better as the light was more kind to me.
I am now getting into a decent rhythm now. Not getting too excited when things go well and not getting too down when things go wrong. The main thing is that our travel plans are working and we are able to get around without any issues.
After the game there was the simple task of getting back on the Moscow Metro.
It is anything but a hardship traveling around this amazing transport system. So clean, so delightful.
Every station is so different.
Then there is the journey back to life on the ground. Huge long escalators which take about 4 minutes to carry you.
The outside of the stations have amazing designs too. This is my local!
I then have a short five minute walk home, past the bus stop and then I reach my imposing hotel.
It is not as bad as St Petersburg but this is about as dark as it gets!