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Привет России!

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Today I received my Russian visa! The process was strange for me because American citizens very rarely need travel or tourist visas to enter foreign destinations. Since high school, I've been fascinated by Russia and its people and I'll finally get the chance to experience the country. Some of my Russian friends warn that I'll be in for a major culture shock, but that's all part of the adventure. And I'm determined to point out good things about the country to my host, who is not very fond of his homeland.

I depart for Moscow on Thursday evening, but will only be in the city a couple days. Then, we will take off for St. Petersburg via car. If you have any recommendations for interesting or unique places to see in Moscow, or in route to St. Petersburg, please let me know. Спасибо большое!

Comments

( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
yarowind
Feb. 12th, 2013 02:47 am (UTC)
congratulations!

Торжок, Валдай, Великий Новогород - these cities will be on the way, you can visit it!
peacetraveler22
Feb. 12th, 2013 03:27 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm certain we'll go to Novgorod. Btw, have you or your wife been to any local banyas in Moscow? Maybe I will want to try while I'm there. There are always jokes in Western movies and TV shows about mean Russian women beating people with leafy twigs at these places. :))
(no subject) - yarowind - Feb. 12th, 2013 04:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 12th, 2013 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - macos - Feb. 14th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
mean Russian women - olegello - Mar. 16th, 2013 01:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: mean Russian women - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 16th, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
It was just a joke. :)) - olegello - Mar. 16th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
moonrainbow
Feb. 12th, 2013 07:55 am (UTC)
In Moscow, try to find time to go for skiing in a park (most districts outside the centre have at least one within the walking distance) or skating in a rink. Gorky park has a very popular skating rink, though it can be crowded during the weekend; there is a number of local skating areas, and many of those are free of charge. You don't even have to own skates, you can borrow them there.

You can visit the Memorial Museum of Space Flight and VDNKh area in general, which is a monument of the Soviet times by itself. Moscow has a number of former estates (Kolomenskoe, Tsaritsyno, Ostankino, etc.) with parks around, although they are a lot nicer in summer.

Ride the metro (green line, blue line, circle line) outside peak hours. :)

The music and club scene of the city is immensely rich, as well as the number of exhibitions in the museums, so that really depends on what you would like to see. There is a site www.museum.ru where you can look at the list of exhibitions. Use a Russian friend for translation. :)

Two days for Moscow are just about nothing, really. It's the same like trying to learn New York in two days.

On your way to St. Petersburg (why the car? It is going to be 10 hours of nervous driving!) you will pass Tver, Torzhok, Valday, Vyshny Volochek and Novgorod. Vyshny Volochek is a town you'll have to see anyway, as the road goes directly through it and you will be stuck there in traffic for more than an hour. Regarding the other towns:

Tver - an old town with few traces from the past. Used to be the center of medieval principality, it has beed rebuilt many times, suffered a lot of damage in WWII, so now it is a 19-20 century city with a nice promenade at Volga and several old streets in the centre.

Torzhok is another old town, smaller and probably nicer than Tver. It has a river embankment overlooked by monasteries and churches above it, this looks quite picturesque on pictures, but in reality it would probably be deep in snow.

Valday is just a small town on the shore of lake Valdayskoe, with a beautiful scenery in summer. The lake must be frozen now, so it won't be that nice in winter. The main sight besides the lake is Iversky monastery just across the lake.

Novgorod is very famous for its Kremlin, St. Sophia cathedral, museums and old churches. The traces of its medieval past are everywhere, as it used to be very rich and influential center from the Kieval Rus times until it fell to Moscow principality. But you will also notice that though the Kremlin and the churches have been carefully reconstructed, the town was virtually built up from ruins after the war. Definitely do not miss. The museum of wooden architecture at Vitoslavlitsy (10 km from the center to the south) is a worth thing to see as well.
peacetraveler22
Feb. 12th, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for the detailed recommendations! And I received your note about meeting but I don't think it will be possible this time because I'll be in Moscow for such a short time. However, I have a multi-entry visa, good for three years. So, if I like Russia I'll be certain to return in the summer when it's easier to get around and the weather is more pleasant. I will be happy to meet with you and my other Russian readers then, as you are all very faithful (which I highly appreciate!).

I went to a huge outdoor skating rink in Vienna a few years ago and loved it! I'm aware of the one at Gorky Park, which I've read is now the largest in Europe, and want to visit and go for a spin. I will not be driving at all in Russia, and my companion is used to very long car journeys so that's why we're driving to St. Petersburg. Plus, it allows me to see more of the country (though I recognize not all of it will be pleasant).

I'll try to write some reports about the trip but my main focus is just to take in the experience, and not worry about taking great photos. :)

Have a pleasant evening.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 1st, 2013 03:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
LSArtem
Feb. 12th, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!
I'll wait for interesting posts! Very curious to see my country through the eyes of American) Good luck and welcome to Russia!

P.S. There's no bears. =)
peacetraveler22
Feb. 12th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Around Christmas time, I bought a great bear hat (see user pic for this comment). So, if there are no Russian bears on the streets there will at least be an American one. :))

I'm not sure I'll write reports, but you can follow my thoughts/updates on the trip on Twitter where we sometimes communicate.

Btw, I don't know how to insert a pic into a LJ comment?
(no subject) - LSArtem - Feb. 13th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Feb. 13th, 2013 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
biblelamp
Mar. 12th, 2013 08:29 am (UTC)
Отличный обзор, читал в переводе. Всегда интересен взгляд со стороны. Шеннон ты молодец, конечно, приезжай к нам ещё ))) Вот, например в Ростов-на-Дону, столицу Юга России ;)

Great review, read in translation. Always interesting to look the part. Shannon you're done, of course, come to us yet ))) That is, for example, in Rostov-on-Don, South Russia capital ;)
peacetraveler22
Mar. 12th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading. I'll return to Russia, maybe in the fall, and try to visit other regions. :)
finzah
Mar. 12th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
Хочу посетить США :)
peacetraveler22
Mar. 12th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
Come! We will gladly welcome you in America.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 12th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
Хотите комментарий от россиянина?

peacetraveler22
Mar. 12th, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
Нет, я только говорю немного русский. :(
boguraevmikhail
Mar. 13th, 2013 05:19 am (UTC)
Москва и Петербург - это ещё не вся Россия! Приезжайте в Ростовскую область. Welcome you to Belaya Kalitva Rostov region!
peacetraveler22
Mar. 13th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
dmitryklimin
Mar. 13th, 2013 01:18 pm (UTC)
Привет! Это Вы еще у меня в поселке не были.
peacetraveler22
Mar. 13th, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
Привет! Где ваша деревня?
(no subject) - dmitryklimin - Mar. 13th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 13th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
anonymus
Mar. 13th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
You are welcome! From Käkisalmi, with love :)
peacetraveler22
Mar. 13th, 2013 09:19 pm (UTC)
Спасибо!
(no subject) - anonymus - Mar. 13th, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
koka_lermont
Mar. 15th, 2013 04:53 pm (UTC)
Приезжайте на Кавказ. У нас и стреляют и танцуют... весело живём...
peacetraveler22
Mar. 16th, 2013 12:28 am (UTC)
Спасибо!
Перов Владимир
Mar. 18th, 2013 12:55 pm (UTC)
Поездка
Впринципе всё правильно описали особенно провинцию. Вам нужно в следующий раз летом приехать -Россия летом очень краcива.

Edited at 2013-03-18 12:55 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Mar. 18th, 2013 02:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Поездка
Я люблю зиму, снег и холод! :)
Re: Поездка - Перов Владимир - Mar. 19th, 2013 08:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Поездка - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 19th, 2013 11:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Поездка - zloileha - Mar. 21st, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Поездка - zloileha - Mar. 21st, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
zloileha
Mar. 21st, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
As for me-i hate visa in USA and in Russia too. Tell this your authourity in USA please. I do not want to leave in USA i am not mex men ! I love snow and big auto ford f 250 in Russia !
peacetraveler22
Mar. 21st, 2013 02:16 pm (UTC)
It's not the U.S. government, it's the Russian government that will not cooperate with over nations or enter into treaties. That's why Russians are required to get visas. It's an extreme burden on Russian citizens, this I completely agree.
(no subject) - zloileha - Mar. 21st, 2013 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Mar. 21st, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - zloileha - Mar. 21st, 2013 03:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
maul
Apr. 20th, 2013 08:09 am (UTC)
All the visa shit is the same for us, russians. Everytime we want to get outside, a lots of docs we should collect
peacetraveler22
Apr. 20th, 2013 12:18 pm (UTC)
I understand. This is a huge hassle for Russian citizens! As Americans, we are spoiled because we travel most of the globe visa free. Have you been to the States?
(no subject) - maul - Apr. 21st, 2013 08:13 am (UTC) - Expand
( 49 comments — Leave a comment )

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