Since I was flying back to Los Angeles from Europe with my friends, I booked the same flight as they did and had a 20 hour layover in Moscow. Visiting another city for price of one. Pretty sweet deal, right? Yet, we found out that we needed to get visas if we plan to leave the airport. Visa?! For 20 hours? Is it even worth it? The Russians didn’t made it easy either. Transit vs tourist, getting an official invitation to enter the Russian Federation, listing all the countries visited in last 10 years, etc. Sure we can pay a travel agency to do it all for us but it will cost us another $500! We sucked it up, went to Russian consulate to personally apply – good thing I was living in San Francisco that time. Here are the photos from that cold freezing night.
After a very hot but amazing 10 days in Greece, we landed in freezing Moscow at about 6 pm, went through immigration, commuted to our hotel, checked-in and freshened up. We were tired but we are all determined not to get our one night in Russia and all our work on applying for the visa go to waste.
We took the Metro down to the Red Square, got on the wrong one, because well, we can’t read Russian. Finally found our way there, and it started raining! The square itself is big and beautiful, and even with the rain, it is lovely! It was so cold, a total 100 degree difference from Santorini and made it hard for me to take photos as my hands were getting numb, and my camera and lens getting wet. Yet to see and be and experience Moscow at Midnight without too much people around is almost magical as it can get.
And was the visa worth it? Definitely.
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