This was the last day of our trip where we checked out of Hilton, Moscow and flew back to Kaliningrad.
This trip has left me completely rejuvenated and energized mentally and physically.
The beauty of Saint Petersburg will leave you spell bound..an architectural marvel I was left gaping at how can such results be achieved by working on something like stone!!the craftsmen have all my respect for creating such delicate designs from a material as hard as stone...Sculptures throng the entire city...It is mesimerising..no wonder some of this country's greats- artists, poets and people of creative mindset made it their home.... I came all hung-over from the highs of the trip to carry on with my life at Kaliningrad. I have to specially mention here that every time we travel with our daughter we evolve as much as she does. I will mention below a few pointers to keep in mind when you travel...it will help you be comfortable on the hence making it the enjoyable experience you intend it to be.
1) The highlights or the most memorable experiences from this trip for me- Cathedral of Saviour on the Spilled Blood, KAzan Cathedral, Winter Palace, Going atop the Saint Issacs cathedral, Saint Basil's Cathedral, Floating Bridge.
2) It is important to understand the climate of places that experience such harsh winters with snow fall, strong winds and sub zero tempratures. Investing in a good quality coat, gloves, cap scarf, warm socks and boots (never step out without these) will save you a lot of misery in a country where there is a language barrier and you might not be lucky to find and english speaking pharmacist. Even if you do get all the support you need, falling sick or feeling cold in the outdoors will leave you in pain. TRussia and many other european and scandinavian countries have this kind of climate. So in order to move around and make the most of your time here..purchase good quality wollens preferably from brands that specialise in clothing for such climates. Yes they will be expensive but are worth it and an investment you will not regret making!
3) Carry your medicines for -pain relief, cough, cold, fever, indigestion, vomiting, paedatric medicines for any accompanying kids. It is expensive to buy medicines here and they may not be available in an easily comestible form that you are generally used to.
4) In case you are travelling with toddlers or younger children do not forget to carry the stroller or any baby wearing gear that you use. It can be a real nightmare if you cant walk around freely soaking the beauty of the architectural marvel that Saint Petersburg while sipping mulled wine to warm your spirits.
5) Don't forget to take it easy when travelling with kids you might not be able to cover everything on your list. Bask in the moment. Ensure that the kids and you get your rest on time. It has been convenient and suited us well to devide our day in 2 parts..morning to lunch and siesta followed by evening leading upto dinner.
6) There are so many more things that I will probably cover in my second visit to these cities. We have to respect the climate ..and take care of our comfort not every thing can be done in every kind of weather. I would love to visit the numerous parks sprawling these cities speacially Gorky Park in warmer weather, boating in the very many water ways in Saint Petersburg, a river cruise in Moscow, watch a show in the Merinsky and Bolshoi theatre, Peterhof Palace which will be splendid to watch with its fountains in bloom in summer.
7) This was my first experience staying in an Airbnb. After trying out hotels and airbnb I conclude that Airbnb is the best option for us with a baby it is good to have a kitchen when you have small children and their system gets disrupted when there is this change in food. My daughter would crave for rice daal almost daily. Having a kitchen gives you the much needed flexiblity.
8) To sum it up, Russia is a must visit destination no less and maybe even better than the other popular destinations of the world..In addition to all the reasons above you will experience almost zero currency conversion shock when you visit Russia ..how amazing is that!! As far as being expensive or not is concerned I would place these cities at par with Mumbai or Delhi so yes slightly expensive as against Kaliningrad which is surprising cheap (in terms of eating out) for the kind of quality and beauty this small town offers. With this I end write up..