The longest day of the year (June 21) actually turned out to be a really long and eventful day in my 10 odd days stay in Russia. The day began with an early morning train journey through the countryside for me, and got better with me spending time with my friend and birthday girl Elena but as the sun set on the beautiful city of Nizhny Novgorod, it culminated in a horror show for Argentina and Messi.
Keeping up with the Indian tradition of reaching the railway station well in advance came handy as I found out that the journey wasn’t from point A to point B. I had to take a metro from my regular metro station in Moscow to another station, where there are three separate directions for three terminals. I had to choose the correct one and then take another metro to reach my destination.
The journey through Russian countryside though was truly mesmerising as the train sailed at about speed of 160 kmph without making any noise. The eye-pleasing view was constantly blocked by pine and larch trees, but I could still manage to capture a few pictures.
In Nizhny Novgorod, my friend Elena, a journalist herself, was waiting to receive me at the station since she had reached the city, couple of hours earlier. After dropping off our luggage at the hostel, where I would be staying for next couple of days, we collected our ‘Match Day tickets’ from the Stadium Media centre and decided to celebrate her birthday.
Elena loves the rides at an amusement park, while I am not a fan of them. But I had a little choice and so we went. I discovered that the Merry Go Round isn’t as scary as I thought it to be. But to sum things up, it was a wonderful day to spend with a friend, with whom I reunited after two years.
As for the match, the disappointment of losing 3-0 to Croatia was clearly visible on the faces of Argentina fans as we walked back home, well past midnight. I could understand their agony, it really had been a disappointing and long, or rather, the longest day for them...
(The writer shares his travel and tour experiences, and also catches the fun and revelry during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.)