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Travel Announcement: Return to Russia!

peter

It's now official! I just purchased my tickets to Russia. :) Here I am, standing on the frozen Neva River in Peter. Glorious! Dates of the visit will be 23 February - 9 March. For those in the U.S., airfares on Aeroflot are incredibly cheap now. Nonstop flights from Washington, DC or New York City to Moscow cost only $492 USD roundtrip, including taxes. I can't even fly to many places in the U.S. for this price.

The first week I'll travel with my Russian friend on a road journey to some new cities, though I'm not yet sure where. Proposed options include the following:
(1) Moscow → Yaroslavl → Vologda → St. Petersburg → Moscow

(2) Moscow → Vladimir → Novgorod → Cheboksary → Kazan → Moscow

Where to go? What to do? Suggestions for other intriguing driving routes from Moscow? Help me! :) I'm mostly interested in unusual people, wild and frozen nature and village life. Museums, Orthodox churches, and standard tourist attractions aren't really important to me.

If there's interest, I can try to arrange a reader gathering somewhere in Moscow the second week. Although I'm not sure where in the city is convenient for most people? If you know a good gathering place, like a restaurant or pub, please tell me in the comments.

I'm excited for the trip, to see if attitudes toward an American visitor have changed since my visit last February when I attended the Olympic Games. Since then, relations between our countries have shifted dramatically and even here on my blog I've noticed more anti-Americanism and hostility, even when the topic of my posts have absolutely nothing to do with politics.

Btw, I'm sure many of you saw Ilya Varlamov's post hanging in the TOP all day yesterday, but if not I suggest you give it a read. A foreign tourist's brutal impressions of Russia. Her story makes my first Russian post seem like a fairy tale. I think she was harsh in her review of the country, though she's certainly entitled to her opinion. It's especially amusing to view the reader comments to the story (over 4,000 of them now!!).

Russia - your country remains a fascinating place for me, and I'm very happy to return!


Comments

( 354 comments — Leave a comment )
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dryvit
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:12 pm (UTC)
Advise Kazan. Beautiful city. Cheboksary, Vladimir - a typical Russian hinterland.
pin_gwin
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
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(no subject) - real_marsel - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dryvit - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dryvit - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dryvit - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dryvit - Jan. 21st, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - phd_paul_lector - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - real_marsel - Jan. 21st, 2015 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
kunbr
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:13 pm (UTC)
Hello, Shennon.
And what about Siberia?
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC)
Siberia - yes, I really want to visit! But it's too far to drive. :( I would have to fly or take the train, and I'm not sure there is enough time during my visit to fit it in.
(no subject) - quelopario - Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inchichunson - Jan. 23rd, 2015 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inchichunson - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inchichunson - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - inchichunson - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 23rd, 2015 07:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
wojzeh
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:15 pm (UTC)
You can speak to Sasha about Yoshkar-Ola and Kazan (he lives in Kazan actually like my sister).

This is about the first city http://udikov.livejournal.com/1566753.html
dryvit
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:20 pm (UTC)
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(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - etno_exp - Jan. 21st, 2015 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
pin_gwin
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
I like your hat!!!! My son has one alike! And my daughter! I am thinking about myself!!!
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
It's my favorite hat! :))
(no subject) - pin_gwin - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
If you will go to Kazan - pin_gwin - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: If you will go to Kazan - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: If you will go to Kazan - pin_gwin - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
kreyzi
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:17 pm (UTC)
привет ) как круто 8 марта у нас большой ЖЕНСКИЙ праздник. было бы круто увидеть тебя и пообщаться в эти первые дни весны!


Edited at 2015-01-21 05:17 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:02 pm (UTC)
Привет! Yes, it will be nice to be in the country on 8 March. We don't celebrate this holiday in the U.S.
Stan Podolski
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:22 pm (UTC)
I would not fly russian airlines if I were you. But I am not you of course
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC)
I like Aeroflot very much! I've flown them before to Russia, and prefer this airline over Delta (the U.S. carrier flying from JFK to Moscow).
wise_gorilla
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Rent a bike and go to Murmansk.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC)
The story was sad, but the bike rider was crazy in my opinion to risk her life this way. I get anxious and scared each time we're driving long routes on Russian "roads", and can't even imagine cycling there. :))
(no subject) - paulspb - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryanka - Jan. 22nd, 2015 02:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2015 03:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ryanka - Jan. 23rd, 2015 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
origen_72
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Шапочка вам очень идет! :))
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:03 pm (UTC)
Спасибо! :)
karbunkul_lug
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC)
do you like Russia?
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
"Like"? Well, it's kind of a hard question to answer. I can't imagine living there, but I like to visit because life there is very different than America. This is why I like traveling in the country, to experience a completely different way of life and culture.
(no subject) - notfop - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - karbunkul_lug - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
vitsky
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:52 pm (UTC)
23 February and 8 March are sacred dates for russians. So, you've chosen a good time for your visit. ;)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
I will not arrive until 24 February, so I'll miss Defender of the Fatherland day. But I've been there before on this holiday, during my first journey.
(no subject) - vitsky - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vitsky - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vitsky - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - romikchef - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - romikchef - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - romikchef - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Пьер Безухоff
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:55 pm (UTC)
Kamchatka?
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:05 pm (UTC)
It's too far for a road trip! :(
(no subject) - tori_latvia - Jan. 21st, 2015 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - arachanski - Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 22nd, 2015 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
phd_paul_lector
Jan. 21st, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
As far as the poor Korean tourist is concerned. a Korean friend of mine (a Russian-speaking member of a Korean cycling club, citisen of both Canada and Russia from Altay) mentions that the girl broke ALL safaty and traffic rules, both Russian and Korean; I checked the rules - she did :(

Also, guys from Murmansk who helped her are shocked by her attitude: http://bloger51.com/2015/01/54000/comment-page-1#comment-592838

She comments Varlamov's post:
"Universewithme Jin": "I am the owner of this picture. You copied my picture and used without permit.
It is really illegal. You are against the law. Delete all my pictures and text. Do not use me!!! "

"Is there any lawyer? Please help me!! Some Russian used all my pictures without asking permit. Now I got too many traffic and messages from Russian. He used me.
http://zyalt.livejournal.com/1259245.html?view=429492973

This guy is against the law. He used all my picture without asking!!!"
https://www.facebook.com/universewithme?fref=nf
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:06 pm (UTC)
Sure, as I wrote above I think she was careless in her actions. However, I think Varlamov should have asked her permission before publishing her story, esp. since he's a copyright Nazi himself.
(no subject) - qui11 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC)
Алкотуризм возможен не только в Индии
Suzdal is more interesting than Vladimir. Foreign students are very fond of the local brewski.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medovukha
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Алкотуризм возможен не только в Индии
I've never heard of this drink "medovukha!" Something new to try on this journey. :)
juan_gandhi
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, interesting. Have you been to Novgorod before? This is a weird choice.

Still, I would take #1.
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:11 pm (UTC)
Yes, I've been to Novgorod - see http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/38909.html.
(no subject) - romikchef - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vitsky - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - juan_gandhi - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
a_nimaida
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:15 pm (UTC)
I would be interested to read your review of my city of Kazan
come)
peacetraveler22
Jan. 21st, 2015 06:16 pm (UTC)
Maybe we will meet on the streets if I visit? :)
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 06:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jan. 21st, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
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( 354 comments — Leave a comment )

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