Booking a Trip to Russia
quote:Originally posted by seraphim:
I haven't got any personal experience with these as I went to Russia on a student visa, but supposedly waytorussia.net (which is a great site for researching a trip also) and the HI hostels can easily supply you with an invitation for a tourist visa.
Thanks, I'll check that out. Do I need a tourist Visa, even if I am staying just a week?
EDIT: Nevermind, The above website you posted explained it. Thanks Again!
Because it is very, very cold, gray and miserable. What are you planning on doing there? Have you thought this out?
"I like the cold"? Pal, you don't know cold. We are not talking Oregon cold.
There are plenty of places known for fun and drinking. St. Petersburg is not one of them. And how much is that visa again? Me thinks that you need to seriously re-think this idea. While I applaud the idea of going to Europe off-season, that is not where I would go, not in a million years. Prague for a week? OK. St. Petersburg? No way, For the $100 plus a day that it will cost you, there are better places to go for "fun and drinking".
Let me get this straight: This is your first trip overseas.
You haven't even ever been to Europe, even in the summer.
Let's see: you will probably fly PDX->ORD->FRA->LED.
In the winter. Yeah, that ought to be real fun for a first time trip.
You come here for advice and one person who actually lives in Russia is questioning it and another guy has been backpacking in Europe since the early 1970s is questioning it.
Did you lose some sort of bar bet?
Oh well, rock on. Don't say that we didn't warn you.
Here are the stats I got from the BBC weather network:
Average hours of sunlight = 0 C
Average Low = -8 C
Average High = -3 C
Maximum Low = -23 C
Maxium High = 5 C
...that's not that cold. But then Again, I've never experienced St. Petersburg at that temperature -- is it a 'wet cold?'
The very biggest stumbling block is that from about the end of November to the middle of January, there is virtually no daylight. The winter solstice is Dec. 21, and for 3 or 4 weeks before and 3 or 4 weeks after, it's just plain dark all the time. All day and all night.
This means that sightseeing is almost impossible. You're always looking for an address (god forbid) in the dark, visibility is about 2 blocks. It's not so much the miserable cold; but the bitter cold combined with the unrelenting darkness, added to the cultural Russian gloom, makes Russia in the dead of winter a depressing environment.
Not exactly conducive to Happy Hour festivity.
Our poster also may not have adequately investigated the expensive, and for Americans, burdensome Russian visa process.
But who are we to say that he shouldn't go to a inhospitable country in the dark and the cold to drink beer for a week?
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