The Kremlin was a nicely restored medieval castle wall around a cathedral. The views of the river were lovely even though we couldn't climb up onto the parapet wall. The lady in tourist information just up the road advised us where the post office was. It didn't really look like a post office from the outside and when we went in there was a continuous counter running around three sides of the large hall. Long queues had formed at points where there was an employee but there was absolutely no way of knowing who was waiting for which service. We stood in one of the lines and a customer two places ahead of us overheard us talking in English and offered us assistance. Beaurocracy is clearly still alive and well in Russia as even he had to ask which was the counter for stamps and double check that we would be served. As we walked searching for a nice cafe we noticed beggars whose bruises suggested a severe fighting/accident habit, possibly fueled by alcohol consumption. This we hadn't seen in Belarus. Then we saw a building that looked next in line for renovation along with the Kremlin and churches around the park. As we approached we noticed ambulances parked outside. It wasn't a ruin at all but some sort of medical facility. I looked in to one of the offices and saw a consultation in progress. Further evidence that life must be harsher and poorer here in Russia than in Belarus.
After about 10 minutes trying to to hail a taxi from our drop off point outside the Kremlin Mike found a taxi rank on the other side of the road. No wonder no one was stopping. Before we climbed in Jon showed him a map and a picture of our supermarket. This journey was much more sedate than the one in to town. This was because the driver was watching a soap opera on his dashboard mounted TV and must have had only one eye on the road.
We did the shopping befire we left. Food was surprisingly expensive and one of Mike's cans of beer punctured at the till.
We found a TIR park for the night just a few KM outside Pskov on the road to Novgorod.
Mike's wasp sting looks very sore today and his leg has swollen. He took a cocktail of tablets last night, and anti histamine and pain killers but the most relief was from a keeping his leg raised and the application of an ice pack. The road to Novgorod was the worst one we have come accross. Huge pot holes and stretches without tarmac. Mike criss crossed trying to find the least bumpy line and we averaged less than 20 miles an hour in 3rd gear. Fortunately there wasn't much traffic on the road. We drove through some tiny hamlets, without even a shop. The houses are still the wooden hut type but they look less well kept than the ones in Belarus. There were signs to other places along the way but they were just sandy tracks. It must be a truly miserable existence here in winter. There isn't even mains water, we have seen wells along the way. People are selling produce but this usually consists of a single container of berries or mushrooms from the forest. We found it very distressing to witness, this grim existence more what you would expect to see 100 years ago, not in the 21st century when there is so much wealth in Russia.