So, after two full days of travel (roughly - it depends how you want to count it - but it was 11:00 at night where I was when I stopped traveling) - I finally made it to Kaliningrad. In the airport, the baggage claim was an advertisement for a casino, which also doubled as a convenient way to spot where your own bag was located on the belt:
So after a long travel day(and a half), I’ve made it to Russia.
Columbia to Charlotte
Charlotte to London (overnight)
A nice, exhilarating early morning run through Heathrow to make my connection, to fly to Moscow.
At the first Moscow airport, I had to go through passport control and customs, get my suitcase - brush my teeth and change clothes - then get in an Uber (well, here, Yandex.Taxi) to travel across Moscow to the other airport.
The trip around Moscow (on their beltway) really looked at lot like any big city in the northeast - New York, Baltimore, etc. A fair amount of trees. Gas stations every couple miles. Lots of retail. The malls here make Texas look like tiny, podunk shopettes.
Made it to the second airport 3 hours early. I wasn’t sure what to expect with checking into my flight and handling security.
Step 1: they scan everybody at the front door
Step 2: checked in to my flight. Found an agent who spoke English and she took care of me.
So, in about a week and change, I’ll be leaving on a six week trip based mostly in Russia-ish.
I’ll be heading to the town of Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea. While it is a Russian State, the town and state of Kaliningrad isn’t connected to Mother Russia - there’s countries like Belarus and Ukraine between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia.
Not a ton more to say just now - merely kicking the blog off. I’ll attempt to post photos and other updates along the way!