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This morning our train arrived in Moscow, or as the Russians call it, Moskva. It's spelled Moskva as well, so we don't know why mapmakers haven't fixed the Western spelling and pronounciation. Our guide Olga met us at the station, led us on a city tour, and brought us to our accomodations four metro stops from the Kremlin, a small apartment shared by mother and daughter. There we met our homestay host, Lena, who speaks no English but gabs a lot in Russain. She holds no job and uses the money earned from homestays to pay her rent. Government subsidies (and the fact that the State owns most of the housing) keep rent low in Moscow for Russians, $100 per month for a two bed, one bath apartment. Low rent has its problems; Lena's apartment has lacked hot water for the last three weeks which has dashed our hopes for hot showers after the long train ride. The cold shower problem is offset by a lack of AC in Moscow's 30 degree Celsius summer heat. We're falling in love with Moscow already.
The end of the Trans-Siberian. We made it to Moskva!
Overview of the Kremlin and ack! St. Basils under repair.