Friday, April 12, 2013

Cruising on smooth waters…

This is how we felt during a trip through Russia in September 2012. It was a premiere by many aspects. As experienced backpackers, we enjoyed the leisureliness of a fully organized trip. We relaxed on a cruising ship. And for the first time in 6 years, all without our 3 lovely kids.
Obviously, this post doesn’t entirely correspond to the theme of this page. But I couldn’t help sharing a few afterthoughts.
*       Organized trips are not that bad after all. In Russia, we particularly enjoyed it. I expect that solo travelers will have difficulties circulating outside large city areas. As part of group, we had all the necessary means of transportations at our disposal. Most of all, in very touristy places, groups benefits from a preferred access to sites. We cut hour-long queues in front of the Hermitage in Sankt-Petersburg. After entering the site, we kindly informed our guide that we would not follow the full guided tour and left for an inspiring discovery of this amazing museum. (In any case, don’t forget to tip your guide). An easy and still very intimate way to appreciate Russian treasures.
*       We’re restless travelers. Despite this – or maybe because of it – we enjoyed the hours spent sliding slowly on water with a book in our hands. If you’re a mother of 3, being able to read a book for more than 10 minutes is a rare luxury.
*       Russia is amazing – full of contrasts and paradoxes. Breathtaking museums and palaces, and old buildings and churches in ruins. Joyfully sad people on the streets – or were they gloomily happy? Russia is definitely a worthy and surprising country to visit!