Russia. Moscow


We are implementing the most irrational decision of our journey – visiting Russia.  We don’t have to report back to work, so we can afford to do whatever comes to our mind, as long as it is within our budget.

We obtained our 30 days tourist double entry Russian visa with the help of the travel agency, booked air tickets using our frequent flyer miles, and headed to Moscow via Stockholm. Each of us paid $230 for the visa, including the travel agency fee.   (By the way, I would not recommend obtaining Russian visa without assistance of travel agency. It is a confusing process that requires a lot of supplemental documentation).

Our son dropped us off at the airport, and after emotional hugs and kisses, we were ready to take off. There was at least a 4-5 hour delay and we realized that we are missing our connection flight.  So we run to the United Airline customer service, explained the situation, and they put us on a flight to Oslo assuming that we’ll be on time in Moscow.  Not so simple – the flight to Oslo was also delayed for another 4 hours.

I was seating in the narrow chair looking at the rain, and suddenly started to cry and question myself if this 6 hour delay will be ever over.  Majority of stories, including ours, have a happy end.  We landed just on time to catch our next flight…..but our luggage stayed behind.

Here we are, in the Moscow airport, filling the custom application and trying to get back the “leftovers” of our whole life possessions.  Finally, 26+ hours later, our relatives warmly welcomed us.

Here we are, exploring one of the most expensive cities of the world.  We’ve visited Moscow once in 2000 but so many changes and so many things stay the same.  It sounds like a cliché, but you can see the globalization is everywhere.  Many times we felt that we still in the US with all signs suddenly written in Russian. Hundreds of huge modern shopping malls, fancy cars, fast food chains, designers’ boutiques surround every our move.


We are staying in the apartment of our relative who joined us to the trip to St. Johns back in March.  She took us to the supermarket to stock the fridge before the weekend trip to her “dacha”, the suburban summer house.

supermarket_tomatos      supermarket4

We were so overwhelmed by selection of domestic and international produce.  The Whole Foods Market looks like a poor cousin compare to the supermarkets we visited here. You can easily select a good quality food according to you budget.  You can buy a fancy cheese from France and pay the same price as you’d pay in the upscale gourmet shop in New York.  Or you can buy an excellent “local” cheese from any part of Russia or bordering countries for the fraction of that cost. You choose.

And fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, baking goods… enormous selection and choices… very reasonable prices…

supermarket_fruits    supermarket1 supermarket_watermelons    supermarke_melons5

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