February 25th, 2015

Hello from Russia!

route

It's so nice to finally be in the same time zone as most of my readers! Now I'm sitting in a very warm and sunny Moscow, much warmer than the temperatures I left behind in my beloved home State of Virginia. I don't know what happened to my favorite snowy, freezing Russian winters, but the last two times I've visited in February the winter wonderland has been absent. Early tomorrow morning, I'll stumble out of bed and head out on the route depicted in the map. The cities have changed since I first announced the road journey, and the trip was carefully planned by my dedicated and trusted travel companion Alexander macos. I'm especially pleased that we will have a stop in Yaroslavl, to meet my favorite LJ blogger lovigin! :)

I'm happy to be back in Russia. The flight on Aeroflot was okay, not as good as the first time I flew from Moscow to JFK. This time, the flight attendants had poor service and unfriendly attitudes. The plane was older and almost half empty, so it was easy to stretch out and have plenty of comfort during the long journey from Washington, DC. The food on Aeroflot is 1,000 times better than any U.S. carrier on which I've traveled. No problems clearing passport control or Customs, I don't think many of the agents speak English, and I've never been asked any questions on arrival or departure. Not a single word comes out of their mouths. No hello, no "welcome to Russia," nothing. I don't know how foreigners are treated when entering the U.S., but as a native, I'm always asked several questions - "where are you coming from?, "purpose of your visit," etc. and lastly, the agent usually says "welcome home." I like it, and am happy to hear the words.

The true adventure begins tomorrow! Stay tuned...

P.S.: Why do Russians always clap when the plane lands? I've never seen passengers do this on any other foreign airline. Something unique to Russian travel culture. Always makes me laugh. :))