Typical of long flights in airplanes sporting a “tough-to-sleep-in” environment I’m sitting in my Moscow Hotel where it is just past midnight and I have had my first shot at jet-lag elimination. Cathy and I began our journey with a bus ride from our house to the airport.
Many hours later we arrived in Schiphol Airport just as the sun was poking up over the tarmac.
We had ample time to find our next gate for the flight to Moscow. As we neared Gate D44 Cathy spied a friend from Toronto, Janet Joy who is attending the same Cycling Congress in Moscow. This was a delightful encounter that will lead to lots of laughter over the next week. Janet Joy is full of enthusiasm and boundless energy, so who knows what ongoing projects she and Cathy will cook up. After a couple of departure gate changes and a flurry of people rushing down crowded walkways we loaded onto the three hour KLM flight to Moscow. As a first time visitor to Russia I experienced some anxiety imagining what it would be like entering this country where I knew little about the customs and none of the language. Fortunately our passage through customs was simple and efficient. Janet Joy had arranged a taxis to meet her and drive her to the hotel. She was willing to share this experience with us so we were delighted to see a fellow holding a sign with her name on it as we entered the arrivals area. Here we are plodding through the remnants of the recent record snow storm waiting for our driver to bring the car.
We had a most delightful time as we drove for over an hour and a half through Moscow’s multi lane streets where bumper to bumper traffic moved, stopped and moved again. I was glad this was not a rental car with me at the wheel when I looked through the window and imagined trying to figure out where to go.
As we entered the central area of Moscow the buildings were magical in stature and color. There seemed to be no limit to the money and imagination to make this a superbly attractive area for people to enjoy winter.
This series of pictures was taken through the car windows and was enough to make us want to come back some evening to walk along some of these illuminated pathways..
After dropping Janet Joy at her hotel we carried on and our driver found the Maxima Panorama, our home for the next week. Our first order of business after dropping our stuff in our room was to head out looking for bottled water as it is advised to not drink the tap water. Staying away from the Russian health system seemed like a good idea so we headed to shops just around the corner from our hotel. I spied a store specializing in shoes definitely not sanctioned by the physiotherapy association. I was able to hold Cathy back from buying a pair for all of her friends.