Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Country #86: The Magnificent Madness of Moscow in March

Question I have heard a number of times in the last week: Why would you go to Russia- a place created solely for bears and snow monsters- in the still frigid month of March?

Answers I have given : Because I can. Because it is there. It won't be so cold, really- statistical averages put in the high 40's and 50's during this time of year. (Note: Turns out, statistical averages lie like a bitch.) Because I found a fare for $199 RT from NY to Moscow ($411 with taxes). And finally: because I've never been.

To be both obvious and honest, one of these responses carried more weight than the others. I've been watching fares to Russia for ages, and combined with the hassles of acquiring a visa beforehand, have found much to be discouraged about. But now, with this cutthroat rate and enough time on my hands to follow the comedically-dictatorial process necessary to obtain a Russian visa, (ie. sample rule of many: Visa application photos must show the applicant with a neutral expression- no frowning, no smiling) I figured I could just layer-up and ignore the cold. This line of thinking must have had some merit to it- or I have successfully surrounded myself with like-minded travelers- because four friends, Amy, Laura, Diana and Georgiana also signed up for this snowy adventure.