Bring warm clothes....there is...
Bring warm clothes....there is a reason so much vodka is consumed.
I live in Florida and I arrived in late August but I swear it felt like winter(see picture...OK its a joke matrooshka!;-) would set in at any moment! Peter had convinced me back in Lutsk that I need NOT spend the $50 for the visa from Ukraine to Moscow.I KNOW..I KNOW...its hard to believe but I DIDNT get a visa(check my passport..no Russia entry or exit stamp...but I have pics of Moscow)Truth is,,,times were tough...there are no guards at the border,,,especially a train that comes through at 1AM. So my friend Peter was right for once, but it cause many problems later.
The upside was i saved $50...the downside was that in a document dependent country like Russia, I didnt have the necessary papers to check into a hotel.Woe is me,time and time again I got turned away...its some holdover from pre-glastnost days...but there wasnt a desk clerk that would budge on that issue...did I mention it was dipping into the high 30's in MAY!!!!!
Seeing just how much Moscow has changed in these last years was a real pleasure. Memories of drab and dismal streets and people were swept away by the sights and sounds of a city reborn. Yes, the traffic is dreadful, and we know there are many problems, but the overall impression is of a city and its people enjoying life, and it's great. People everywhere enjoying themselves, busy in their own lives -shopping, eating, drinking (beer on the metro!), families in parks and gardens, people of all ages attending church, sightseeing, crowds of young people heading for a rock concert at the giant sports stadium near Novadavechy, lots more.
Alexander's Garden (Alexandrovsky Sad in Russian) is founded after Civil War I of 1812-1814. The garden is situated near of Kremlin walls, in the left if you go from Red Square to Tverskaya street. It's very popular place to have a rest and meetings. Here you can see monument to unknown soldier, the victim of World War II. In 1997 great changes happened here and the garden has view you can see today. The big change is fountains and the main one you can see in the picture. Fountains work since April 30 till the end of September in Moscow. In holidays there are live orchestra music near by the garden (in Manezhnaya square).
Tipping is expected but don't...
Tipping is expected but don't overdo it. I did and caught holy hell. The girl I was with could not believe I tipped 20%. She had a fit. It is because most Russians make very little a month. To me it was nothing to her it was a big deal. Just keep it in mind
Use a bag that has a combination lock. They take longer to break into and chances are you'll get all your stuff there and back! Take the expanding suitcase, you know, the ones with the extra zipper. You will always buy more than you expected to! Summer: comfortable walking shoes. Only Americans wear white running shoes. If you don't want to stand out, find some black shoes. Wear layers.
Winter: omigosh get battery heated socks and gloves, I am not kidding! Always wear a hat (married women should always cover their heads when in any church) or you will noticethe heat loss from your head right away. Again, wear layers, but include silk or thermal longjohns, cotton wick socks and glove liners. I carry a small first aid kit, as well as odd things like superglue, rubber bands, tapes, scissors, pins, mosquito spray, allergy stuff, etc. Use your imagination. Also carry toilet paper. Public toilets, such as they are, are often ill-equipped. McDonald's has the best bathrooms in town! USe anything you like in warm weather, but I lost my favorite 35 mm camera in the winter when the zoom extension mechanism froze and then broke. Keep your equipment warm. I wouldn't camp in Russia but then I hate camping.