Russia touched my heart and soul
Being an Indian, we are obsessed with budget. Starting from real to reel In our mind " Bhai kitna deti hai :P ". The very word travel somehow takes us to the beautiful European streets. European architecture, the food and the nature are bliss for a young traveler. But but for me the evenings in Paris, Canals of Amsterdam and pasta in the streets of Barcelona seem still so far.So one fine December Sunday my travel search started for Russia. My search concluded that, the best time to travel Russia is from September to October end as the temperature is stable and greenery all around. But I was impatient to wait and choose spring, month of March with snow and rain.
I was a rookie traveler till I visited Vietnam last year. So my search was organized starting from VISA followed by the air tickets, stay and obviously the food. So let's begin the journey.
The most important document for Russian tourist VISA is the Russian Invitation. After a hectic search, I got this site http://ivisaonline.com/. Probably the cheapest among all and it will cost around 30-40$ for the invitation. Fill the details, pay by credit card and bang. The invitation letter will be in your inbox in minutes. The other document list is here in this page https://www.india-ifs.com/main.php?id=travel&lang=en . you can get your VISA done by any travel agent or can directly apply in VFS offices.
10 things Before You board the flight to Russia:
Make sure to get this checklist done:
1. Book your hostels from HostelWorld
2. Passport and Invitation Letter Printout
3. Power Bank (More than 10000mah)
4. Phone and camera chargers
5. Power Plug Converters for Russian standard
6. Jacket, head cap, gloves that can survive negative temperature 7. Two pair of shoes and minimum 4 pairs of socks
8. Extra photos of yourself
9. Cash according to your need, get dollars as you can exchange them everywhere
10. Good to have a sling bag for all your documents and cash
Flying To Russia...
After the VISA is confirmed, the tickets can be booked from the Aeroflot website. The flights are affordable and the service is also not bad. Aeroflot has flights from Delhi to Moscow. And I suggest the flight in the morning at 5:30 AM so that you can land in SVO( Sheremetyevo International Airport) by 10AM Russian Time.There are two other airports in Moscow VKO( Vnukovo International Airport)and DME( Domodedovo International Airport). Mostly all the Aeroflot international flights operate from SVO and domestic flights operate from VKO.
The Mesmerizing Moscow :
Moscow will welcome you with chilly wind and a white snow all around you, if you travel in Spring. After landing in airport first thing you need to do is exchange a very nominal amount so that you can get into the city. Normally the exchange rates are better inside the city than the airport.
The next thing is to look for mobile operators to get a SIM. BeeLine has good economical internet packages. The reason why I suggest to take a SIM is everything outside will be Russian and you need internet and translator badly. To go into the city follow the metro signs and take an airport metro. The last stop for Airport metro is Belorussky station. From there we have to change the metro for different part of the city. Moscow subway is one of the most beautiful and organised subway in the world. Get a metro pass for the period of stay in Moscow.
2 Days in Moscow:
The Moscow walk started from the heart, the Red Square. Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow Kremlin, the GUM, Cathedral of Savior, Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, Alexandrovsky Garden have breath taking views both in day and glittering yellow lights of evening.
Do not miss the VDKNH park and Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics.
The days in Moscow were snowy, rainy and chilly. But get few shots of Russian vodka to keep warm and enjoy the stunning city.
After three days in Moscow I boarded my flight from VKO airport to Sochi. On the contrary to Moscow, Sochi was bright, sunny and warm. The first thing attracted me towards Sochi is the Olympic Park. In addition to the olympic infrastructure, the pebbles beach and Sky Park were in my list.
From the Sochi airport which is in Adler, take bus no 109 to Sochi city.I booked my stay in Very Hostel. The views were breathtaking with the combination mountain and blueish sea water.
Olympic, something very rare for any Indian. The visit to olympic park was a lifetime memory. Infrastructures ,facilities and everything about the olympic park were astounding.