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I been wanting to go to Suzdal and Vladmir after Moscow but I was sort of running out of time. Since there is no direct train going to Suzdal, I decided to take a train to Vladmir then take a bus next day for a day trip to Suzdal.
So I was all set going to Vladmir that afternoon, after making sure with my hostel and Kai the right train station in Moscow (a lesson from Budapest), I set off and got into the train station half an hour before the departure time. I made sure with the cashier at the train station that my platform was 10. So I went to platform 10 and waited for a while. Within 10 minutes of the departure time the schedule showed that the next train was not going to Vladmir. Puzzled, I asked the person next to me if my train departs from here – he looked at my ticket told me no, the next train does not go to Vladmir, but I could not understand the rest of his Russian. Panicking, I ran off the platform, checked the schedule on the big screen – “Vladmir Platform 10”. I was so confused so I tried asked the person next to me in front of the big screen to help me. Fortunately that person spoke English. He looked at my ticket, and told me he does not know what’s wrong, but he will help me. Then he found another stranger, and they spoke a bunch of Russian with each ovther, and we started to follow that person. While brisk walking, the good Samaritan explained to me that the platforms in this building is for international departures, the platforms in the next building is for domestic. While the other person told me not to worry, even though we are just 3 minutes away, it is still plenty of time.
I got on the train a minute before its departure.
After getting into Vladmir, I had to get on a bus to my hostel. Since I don’t speak Russian, I could barely pronounce my stop. As I was struggling to tell the bus driver my bus stop, someone on the bus picked up the word and corrected it for the bus driver. Then the whole bus watched for my stop and told me when to get off the bus.
Next day after coming back from Suzdal, I wanted to visit the city center of Vladmir that evening. Following a family from the bus station, I got myself into the city center. I walked along the main street till I hit the very center, as I was resting on a hill overlooking the center from above, I met two young Russian guys. They tried to share their beer with me, I said no. But they were very friendly with me, trying to chatting me up with their broken-English. At end of the evening, several other people came up the hill. By then I had to go back to my hostel, together with the two young men, they told me to take bus #26 to go back to the bus station (and from the bus station I knew which bus to take to get to my hostel).
But after waiting for half an hour, I still couldn’t find a 26, even though many other buses have repeated several times already. So I decided to take a risk and took a 24 instead. Unfortunately 24 turned to the wrong corner after just one stop. I hurrily got off the bus, got back to the main street, and found another bus going straight line – I just need one more stop as long as it’s a straight line. I was quite worried because I ran out of change and could not pay for another the bus ticket. “Maybe these bus tickets last an hour like western Europe?” As the ticket lady approached me, I gave her the ticket I bought on bus 24 just a few minutes ago. “Your ticket is invalid” the lady gestured me in Russian, “my tickets are in this color” and she waved me her green colored tickets. Fortunately just then the bus door opened at my stop, I stepped over to the bus door and pointed, “this is my stop, I just need one stop” and hopped off the bus.
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