Working from Former Soviet Capitals 2021
My Russian visa still had a couple days before it became valid, and I was waiting on PCR test results in Helsinki, so I decided to take a 25-minute flight to Tallinn.
My last trip to the Baltic states was cut short when I left my friends in Riga and flew to Ukraine.
I always wanted to check Estonia off my list but wasn’t going to make a special trip to do so.
The waiting game offered the perfect opportunity to spend a couple days in the World Heritage area of Tallinn’s Old Town. I used Marriott points to book a couple nights at the Telegraph Hotel and enjoyed a couple days exploring.
It was at the Põhjala Brewery, enjoying an IPA and some BBQ in the sun, that I started to get nervous.
The rules for entering Russia were always changing and I read you had to travel directly from a country that had direct flights to Russia. I would be flying back through Helsinki.
Would they let me board? Would they let me enter when I landed? Pictures of Snowden stuck in limbo were flashing through my mind. Lol.
When I checked in for my flight in Tallinn, the gate attendant looked at my passport for what seemed like an hour, then she went to make a phone call. But then she came back, printed my boarding pass, and I was on my way. Still unsure if they would grant me entry when I got there, I did my best to enjoy one of the most comfortable airports I’ve ever been in. Turns out my fears were unfounded. After a couple short flights with Chinese in hazmat suits and Russians who refused to wear masks, I was in Moscow.
My first day/night in Moscow was a little rough. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it on my own. I posted to the EPS group looking for a fixer and was laughed at. Once I got out into the city, I realized why. Moscow is an extremely easy city to navigate.
My favorite breakfast place was a small café in one of the hipster neighborhoods. People watching here was the best.
The one fancy dinner I had. The atmosphere was great and the vodka flowed like wine, but the food was only ok. I realized how comfortable I was in the city when I walked the 30 minutes back to my apartment late at night, slightly buzzed, blasting Russian black metal through my earbuds.
Les enfants sont les victimes des vices des adultes
Fallen Monument Park
Embassy of Belarus
Old vs. New
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
The Mound of Glory
Surrounded by the Enemy
The modern clashes with the old all-around Tbilisi, but this pedestrian bridge (also known as the Bridge of Peace) over the Kura River stands out among it all. A lot of people joke that it looks like a sanitary napkin.
Soviet Train Yard
Cable Car Station
Gergeti Trinity Church