At midnight we started for Odessa, and after traversing several of the long and melancholy streets of this vast city we arrived at the stone bridge from which the Kremlin is seen to the greatest advantage. I know not whether it was because I beheld it for the last time, but I had never before been so struck with the singularity and magnificence of its gilded towers and antique domes. There is a mixture of European and Asiatic architecture in all the public edifices of Moscow which certainly gives it an interest that no city I have yet seen possesses. The perfect stillness that reigned all around us at the moment we took the last long look at the Kremlin, in the uncertain light that the moon cast upon every object, produced a sensation it is difficult to describe. We passed through Tula and Batourin, then to Kiew, formerly the capital of Russia. Nothing can exceed its filth and wretchedness, but it is of great historical interest.
some days after leaving Kiew we came to the steppes. The weather being dry and the road good, we travelled with rapidity, this being the only circumstance which alleviated the monotony of the journey. You see the sun rise and sink below the horizon as when at sea.'
In spite of the immense increase of luxury in travelling nowadays, the modern tourist still complains bitterly of the discomforts attendant on this same journey. My correspondent writes in the train on his way from Moscow to Sebastopol: 'I left Moscow on Sunday morning. They arrange to stop the train for food, so at five o'clock I got out at Tula - "the Russian Sheffield," says Murray, "and famous for its hardware." To test the hardware I ate a cake, and certainly it was hard - harder even than the Dover bun - though perhaps not so strong in another sense as Russian eggs are. The tea is so weak and the eggs so strong that I sent for the manager and advised a better distribution of force, but he did not understand. ... I have now been fifty-three hours without sleep or wash, travelling over boundless steppes which I am glad to have seen, and hope never to see again!'
The journal continues at Odessa :-