Here are random notes from webguy Roger. There is absolutely no guarantee of accuracy or usefulness.
Very Preliminary Expenses
|Visa||Visa $160 + handling $90 + $38||300|
|Hotels (1/2 off for double occupancy)||Days||per day|
|St Petersburg 5/7,12,13,14,15||5||150||750|
|Ground Transport||no clue||250|
|Food||$50 / day is high?||500|
Very Preliminary Itinerary
- May 6 lv ROC
- May 7 arrive LED St Petersburg
- do we sleep 1 night in LED?
- May 8 see Novgorod
- May 9 Victory Day Events
- May 10, 11? see Novgorod
- May 11?12 -13?14?15 LED St Petersburg
- May 14 or 16 or so arrive ROC
Visa – consulate
- we don’t do anything yet. I am just gathering some information here.
- probably a good travel agent will take us through the visa process
- it is still expensive and not quick and accuracy is critical
- $160 visa fee
- $89 or more handler fee
- $38 contractor fee here
- 4-5 weeks lead time. a few months might be safer
- prepaid, preaddressed fedex envelope? $9.05 each way?
- passport good 6 mo after end of visa
(if you get 3 year visa, that is maybe December 2023)
- there is a very long online form to fill, print, sign – see it here
bubbly Marina ( there are many and varied other offerings on youtube):
scholarly basic phrases: http://masterrussian.com/blbasic.shtml
babbel.com is $7 – $13 / month. one review says it starts strong and withers after the first few lessons. There are many other paid offerings.
If there is some interest, I bet we could manage a meeting or two with a native speaker before the trip.
There is a tourist card, $16 = 1000 rubles. Free (?) museums (Renaissance musical instruments?), Discounts on many exhibits, tourist things, falconry show, churches. Many of the above separate attractions are in or very near the kremlin. Others are in Staraya Rusa or Borovichi or other distant towns/hamlets/settlements
St Petersburg can be googled – let us know if you find helpful sites.
a Russian Ruble is worth about 1.6 cents, or 64 to the dollar. Get ready for some scary-looking price tags. The current exchange should be in the right column of this site, below the calendar.
Paul Caccamise, Sheila & James Fleischauer, Carolee Conklin, Garth Brokaw, Simon Levin, Rand Darrow, Mike Leach, Roger Young, Dan Karin (head of Israel sister city)
Colin Coffey wants to go.
Mitch Rowe wants to go.
People were not interested in Moscow. They were interested in hotel, not homestay, and tourist guidance.
Paul offered 3 handouts:
train moscow – peterburg 3:35 1277 – 2746 ++ rub 1 way
—————————————–2887 ++ rub 2 way (~$44)
train moscow – novgorod 8:35 1181++ 1 way
train peterburg – novgorod 2:55++ 992++rub 1 way