Left the comfortable cocoon of Hotel Lotte for a bit of essential shopping. I should have bought my new camera back in London, where I know most of the camera shops, but ran out of time. So, on concierge advice, we crossed the Moskva river by Borodinsky bridge under leaden sky and went directly to the shopping mall on the other bank. Four stores sold cameras, including a specialist shop. However, of the five advanced compacts on my short list, including Nikon P330, canon G15 and Sony RX100, only the latter was stocked. The Sony dealership on the top floor, eventfully gave me about 5% off the listed price and lo the RX100 II was now my new pocket travel camera for about £550. A clear £50 more than the better London prices if only I'd decided sooner. It was more than I wanted to spend and the priciest on my short list, but with a 1inch ccd, probably the best picture quality, and thus ultimately the best.. Right?
On to the supermarket for trans-siberian train supplies: vodka, noodles and a windscreen scraper. Salami, cheese, crisps and more vodka. Fags (70 rubles for a pack ~£1.20!) and chocolates for the train guards, and a bit more vodka.
Pierre Gagniere, bestowed with three (count 'em) Michelin stars is in town, and will be our chef this evening at Hotel Lotte. Our dining experience enhanced by the company of Natalia and then Natalya. The eight course tasting menu included sublime combinations- scallops with ceps, pork with snails etc. Though the carabineros proved a little adventurous for Anna. Matched wine included a divinely complex Pinot noir. And that will probably be the last bit of decent cuisine for me for some time. Merci Monsieur Gagniere.