When we first arrived in Moscow, we were moved surprisingly quickly through the customs officials and began our trek to the hotel. The check-in to the hotel was a good preview to how our communication with the vast majority of the Russian population would go. We didn't know much Russian, they didn't know much English- enough said. After getting ourselves situated, we decided to wander around and try and find dinner. In walking around the areas by the hotel, I found that the city was a lot different than I had expected it to be. It was a lot cleaner- and definitely a lot larger than I was expecting. When you tell people you're going to Moscow, you get a mix of opinions about the country. What I was expecting to find was largely based on these opinions of other people.
The city though, is dramatically different than the country side (Lake Baikal). The city is fast-paced and expensive with large buildings and catherdals as far as the eye can see. The country side has a more simple atmosphere, and the people are more willing to talk with you. I preferred the lake much more than Moscow. The architecture and the culture was amazing to see- especially when you are able to compare it to the exact opposite way of life in Siberia.