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Matt24
14-03-2010, 11:58
Any insights or top tips on how to handle the following situation gratefully received:

In a week or so my parents are visiting Moscow for their tri-annual tour of inspection - this time round we have the added attraction of a three month old baby, but I'm wondering what to do with the remaining 6 days and 20hrs of their week in Moscow once the initial interest peters out - they are fit, early sixties, semi retired doctors, not particularly arts oriented, non Russian speaking, sun lovers...any clues? My mother is fervently anti-alcohol, which limits my ability to tag them on to my normal life processes.

Thank you

Matt

tvadim133
14-03-2010, 13:43
No matter they are art oriented, if it is the first visit of them to Moscow, show them Kremlin and Red Sq. + Kolomenskoye and Novodevichy Monastery + walk in Tsaritsino park (to ee the palace, the ponds and so on there).

It is worth visiting tretyakov gallery (no matter, they are not much of art (at least, they would see, what it is).

Go to the theatre to see ballets (the conviniet and affordable is the theatre Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Danchenko by name).

Matt24
14-03-2010, 15:10
No matter they are art oriented, if it is the first visit of them to Moscow, show them Kremlin and Red Sq. + Kolomenskoye and Novodevichy Monastery + walk in Tsaritsino park (to ee the palace, the ponds and so on there).

It is worth visiting tretyakov gallery (no matter, they are not much of art (at least, they would see, what it is).

Go to the theatre to see ballets (the conviniet and affordable is the theatre Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Danchenko by name).

Vadim thanks, unfortunately it's not their first trip, they've been three times and pretty much filled the excellent itinerary you describe - good effort though, cheers Matt

Vadim
14-03-2010, 15:18
Day trip to St.Pete? However, will they like two nights it train?

Kartoshka
14-03-2010, 16:55
^ If they would, they could go on one of Peter's Walking Tours (www.peterswalk.com), every Monday and Thursday at 10.30am (daily from April). They take you round the highlights of the city with a stop at a cafe in the middle. When I was living in St Petersburg and my friend's parents came over we all went on this walk and it was very good.

Then again, I'm not sure if your partner would want to travel with the baby or if she'd mind being left for a couple of nights. Perhaps this is an idea to save for your parents' next visit?

Hmmm, what else to see in Moscow? I like the Historical Museum very much, there is plenty to see and it might fill an hour or two even if they're not particularly interested in history. There's also the Modern History Museum (20th century stuff) on Tverskaya.

If they haven't been already (or even if they have, because there are always new things to see) you could take them to Izmailovsky Souvenir Market and then for a walk in Izmailovsky park. It's not a great time for walking but if you're lucky you might get nice weather. You could also wander round at Serbriyaniy Bor, which is very beautiful in the snow and indeed most of the year. The Botanical Gardens might be nice for somewhere to walk as you can pop into the greenhouses when you get chilly.

How about a trip to a banya? You'd have to hire a private one so they could go in together, which might be a bit pricey, but perhaps not if you do it during the daytime.

You might want to take them on a day trip to somewhere like Sergiev Posad. Apart from the monastery there's not a great deal to see once you're there, but going there and back on the train fills up quite a bit of time and the countryside from the train window looks very "Russian" at this time of year, all covered in snow.

tvadim133
14-03-2010, 17:00
I would say they (and you) can use one day trips to some towns which are within Golden Ring (it is very intersting to see old and not so changed towns even for russian).

My recommendation is Suzdal (in case it is spring, at least) and really Sergiev Posad.

So two days will be planned easy.

Matt24
14-03-2010, 19:21
^ If they would, they could go on one of Peter's Walking Tours (www.peterswalk.com), every Monday and Thursday at 10.30am (daily from April). They take you round the highlights of the city with a stop at a cafe in the middle. When I was living in St Petersburg and my friend's parents came over we all went on this walk and it was very good.

Then again, I'm not sure if your partner would want to travel with the baby or if she'd mind being left for a couple of nights. Perhaps this is an idea to save for your parents' next visit?

Hmmm, what else to see in Moscow? I like the Historical Museum very much, there is plenty to see and it might fill an hour or two even if they're not particularly interested in history. There's also the Modern History Museum (20th century stuff) on Tverskaya.

If they haven't been already (or even if they have, because there are always new things to see) you could take them to Izmailovsky Souvenir Market and then for a walk in Izmailovsky park. It's not a great time for walking but if you're lucky you might get nice weather. You could also wander round at Serbriyaniy Bor, which is very beautiful in the snow and indeed most of the year. The Botanical Gardens might be nice for somewhere to walk as you can pop into the greenhouses when you get chilly.

How about a trip to a banya? You'd have to hire a private one so they could go in together, which might be a bit pricey, but perhaps not if you do it during the daytime.

You might want to take them on a day trip to somewhere like Sergiev Posad. Apart from the monastery there's not a great deal to see once you're there, but going there and back on the train fills up quite a bit of time and the countryside from the train window looks very "Russian" at this time of year, all covered in snow.

Thank you, the Banya idea is brilliant! they are very concerned about freezing to death. Also serebny bor and the botanical gardens are inspired choices - St.Petes is off my radar this time around -but the drive in the country is a goer, thanks again. Matt

Matt24
14-03-2010, 19:31
Day trip to St.Pete? However, will they like two nights it train?

yes it's the train thing, if the child was older or I wasn't suddenly paranoid about Tupolevs, NI is short enough of people as is without putting three generations on the one bean tin. But thanks for your suggestions

Matt

Matt24
14-03-2010, 19:33
I would say they (and you) can use one day trips to some towns which are within Golden Ring (it is very intersting to see old and not so changed towns even for russian).

My recommendation is Suzdal (in case it is spring, at least) and really Sergiev Posad.

So two days will be planned easy.

Thanks, I think between you and Kartoshka, I've taken a big lump out of the itinerary

cheers

Matt

Kartoshka
14-03-2010, 23:16
My parents came in January last year and survived the cold to tell the tale... reassure your parents with that :)

If you're driving, you could do Sergiev Posad and Abramtsevo (country estate very close to Sergiev Posad) together. You could also drive out to Vladimir and Suzdal... I am longing to go to Suzdal this winter because I think it would be beautiful in the snow, but it's not easy to do on public transport unless you plan to stay overnight. It takes 3-4 hours to drive there.

FatAndy
15-03-2010, 14:54
Matt, for SPb there are fast trains (Nevsky express, Avrora and Sapsan) - they usually reach SPb in 4 hrs. Departure of Aurora is around 16-16:30 and Nevsky - 18-18:30 both directions. Sapsan needs to check at www.rzd.ru.

Regarding your paranoia about Tupolevs - then fly Aeroflot own flights (not those who joined with Rossija/Pulkovo airlines), they removed Tu-134/154 from active fleet since 01 jan 2008/01 jan 2010 and moved to Airbuses. But I don't understand such attitude - normal jets. Not very economic and comfortable - it's true, but in reliability - quite OK.

drwho
15-03-2010, 16:42
Any insights or top tips on how to handle the following situation gratefully received:

In a week or so my parents are visiting Moscow for their tri-annual tour of inspection - this time round we have the added attraction of a three month old baby, but I'm wondering what to do with the remaining 6 days and 20hrs of their week in Moscow once the initial interest peters out - they are fit, early sixties, semi retired doctors, not particularly arts oriented, non Russian speaking, sun lovers...any clues? My mother is fervently anti-alcohol, which limits my ability to tag them on to my normal life processes.

Thank you

Matt

Put them on the metro circle line with a copy of "War and Peace" and collect them a few days later. Make sure you give them sandwiches and coffee for the ride.

BTW: I am surprised they were able to get a visa to come here as its really quite a lot of aggro. My parents refuse to come here so we will have to pay for 3 flight tickets to see them plus the in laws that are in another country. Consider yourself lucky and have a good time with them. :12115:

Kartoshka
15-03-2010, 19:04
BTW: I am surprised they were able to get a visa to come here as its really quite a lot of aggro.

Really? When my parents came last year it was really easy to get them visas, it was just expensive.

Vadim
15-03-2010, 19:11
My British friends always apply via visa agencies, there are several accredited by the Embassy in London, all listed on the official website. They charge some twenty or thirty quid extra, but as far as know there is no need to visit consular section in person at all.

Matt24
15-03-2010, 19:34
Matt, for SPb there are fast trains (Nevsky express, Avrora and Sapsan) - they usually reach SPb in 4 hrs. Departure of Aurora is around 16-16:30 and Nevsky - 18-18:30 both directions. Sapsan needs to check at www.rzd.ru.

Regarding your paranoia about Tupolevs - then fly Aeroflot own flights (not those who joined with Rossija/Pulkovo airlines), they removed Tu-134/154 from active fleet since 01 jan 2008/01 jan 2010 and moved to Airbuses. But I don't understand such attitude - normal jets. Not very economic and comfortable - it's true, but in reliability - quite OK.

Andy, as I've mentioned before, around our house, you are a God, forgive my human inadequacies and petty phobias. But I'm not even close to your deistic heights of reasonableness, I can't dismiss the fear that with approaching 1,000 flights on various pieces of cold war era Russian machinery my number is heading toward the top of the list for crashing - I was in no way trying to impugn the reputation of the Russian aerospace industry. I shall indeed investigate Aeroflot and fast trains. Thank you for taking the time to advise me, as ever thoughtful and well thought out. Matt

drwho
16-03-2010, 08:44
Really? When my parents came last year it was really easy to get them visas, it was just expensive.

You can get them via an agency and pay a lot or drive down to London and wait in line outside the RU embassy to get your visa. When you are over 60 it ain't no fun. For my mum anyway.

Scatterling
16-03-2010, 09:50
Thanks for the thread, Matt! Gave me some great ideas for when my husband visits in May.

One little question, if you don't mind, if we plan on visiting Suzdal or any other place outside Moscow, does it have to be specified on the visa application?

Never quite sure how to stay out of trouble...

Matt24
16-03-2010, 11:58
Thanks for the thread, Matt! Gave me some great ideas for when my husband visits in May.

One little question, if you don't mind, if we plan on visiting Suzdal or any other place outside Moscow, does it have to be specified on the visa application?

Never quite sure how to stay out of trouble...

Scatterling old thing, working completely on precedent and not through any reading of the rules, I figure if they let you on the plane, you're allowed to go there, I've only ever had any difficulty in Samara, where once a hotel wouldn't let us stay because of the absence of 'Samara' on the paperwork, however we moved hotel and no issue - with regards to Suzdal and other day trip from Moscow destinations, I'm pretty sure you'll be totally ok....I haven't been to St.Petes for an age, but never had any problem in getting registered and therefore legalised in that fair city either, despite it not being in my visa. I'm sure someone on expat.ru has actually read the rules, and if they say it can't be done, I'd believe them, not me - I'm sure you'll be okay for a bit of May tourism with the minimum of fuss.

Matt

tvadim133
16-03-2010, 12:06
Thanks for the thread, Matt! Gave me some great ideas for when my husband visits in May.

One little question, if you don't mind, if we plan on visiting Suzdal or any other place outside Moscow, does it have to be specified on the visa application?

Never quite sure how to stay out of trouble...

You can visit any cities if you have VISA to Russia.

You do not need to mention all cities you would like to visit as far as I know.

Registration can be done in hotels without any problems.

FatAndy
16-03-2010, 16:22
You can visit any cities if you have VISA to Russia. - no. Very probably you'll need special permissions for military/nuclear bases/plants (ZATO - закрытые административно-территориальные образования).

AFAIK, it is some small towns in Moscow and Krasnoyarsk regions, Federal Nuclear Center (Sarov in NNov region), Nord Fleet bases area at Kolsky peninsula (Severomorsk, Vidyaevo, Gadjiev etc.), Baltic fleet base (Baltiysk at Kaliningrad region), Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar cosmodroms, Kamchatka Kura ballstic target polygon area.

All other cities don't require special permission and covered by usual visa. Also, hotels are responsible for registration everywhere, but if you want to stay at friends' flat or house, you'll need to register at local UFMS.

FatAndy
16-03-2010, 19:06
2 Matt:
I can't dismiss the fear that with approaching 1,000 flights on various pieces of cold war era Russian machinery my number is heading toward the top of the list for crashing - well, don't forget another a bit fatalistic Russian proverb - "Who can be hung up, that will not sink" ;) Yankees still fly on B-52 bombers produced at 196x - the key point is accuracy of technical maintenance, i.e. "human factor".

Kartoshka
16-03-2010, 19:55
You can get them via an agency and pay a lot or drive down to London and wait in line outside the RU embassy to get your visa.

Comparing the cost of using an agency as opposed to doing it yourself... the agency my parents used costs 117 (including visa support), and to do it yourself it'll cost 76 (excluding visa support). Factoring in the cost of travelling to London, it probably doesn't cost all that much more to go via an agency, maybe even about the same.

Benedikt
16-03-2010, 21:48
http://www.winzavod.com/
the place is BIIIG and great and fun. dress warm, because when you go down the old storage cellars it becomes quite fresh to say the least.

ISMAILOVO and the Vodka Museum might be worth a visit, the museum is open every day, they are on the www, and as you know the Vernisage only over the weekend, Saturday and sunday.

Maybe to see some of the country side, take them with the bis, they leave from METRO VDNH, to Sergei Possad,a nice and easy day trip.

If they are into DR. Shivago and Boris Pasternak, a day trip to PEREDELKINO.

http://video.uk.msn.com/watch/video/star-city-moscow/10pm4i4md, MIGHT BE SOMETHING...

http://www.wikimapia.org/119049/A-submarine-with-a-museum-inside, I WAS THERE WHEN ONLY THE SUB WAS THERE, IT SHOULD BE BIGGER NOW. being a chef, of course i did not look at the torpedo room but at the 2 m2 galley from where the poor cook had to feed the crew day and night....

a tour of the Kristall Vodka factory.

The 'KGB' museum behind the Lyubjanka. Note, they don't let individuals in there ,you ahve to book a tour fairly well in advance. |definitely need your passport and NO picture taking there.

The METRO (SUBWAY...) museum at station SPORTIVNAYA, very interesting, run by the Metro people themselves. behind the cop shop, around the corner, up the stairs, to find the place is half the fun, becaue NO Muscovite knows there is a museum there.


Dig around on the net, there is also an underground guided tour, i think from Metro Taganskaya, the old 2nd WW underground communication center.

As far as I know ostankino, the TV tower is open to the public, but found no relevant info on the net, maybe a phone call will help.

MOSFILM does offer guided tours to their areal, of course it is no Paramount but sounds fun. Again, i found no relevant info on the net, but did not dig to hard.


If you do only half of these i think your parents will have an unforettable time here in Moscow.Sorry i could not be more specific in some areas or locations, but with the help of the good people here on the Expat you might get the one or other exact address, location or timetable.

Kraven Morehead
16-03-2010, 21:51
Any insights or top tips on how to handle the following situation gratefully received:

In a week or so my parents are visiting Moscow for their tri-annual tour of inspection - this time round we have the added attraction of a three month old baby, but I'm wondering what to do with the remaining 6 days and 20hrs of their week in Moscow once the initial interest peters out - they are fit, early sixties, semi retired doctors, not particularly arts oriented, non Russian speaking, sun lovers...any clues? My mother is fervently anti-alcohol, which limits my ability to tag them on to my normal life processes.

Thank you

Matt
3 Month baby, this is what they are going to watch. Nothing else matter except the grandchild.
Any event that has to do with the Grandchild.

Park of Culture is good for a day and there is a little park nearby.

mikegulf
16-03-2010, 22:35
Thanks for the thread, Matt! Gave me some great ideas for when my husband visits in May.

One little question, if you don't mind, if we plan on visiting Suzdal or any other place outside Moscow, does it have to be specified on the visa application?

Never quite sure how to stay out of trouble...

When I got my visa for last fall I wrote down where I planned to go on the application because there was a block there but when I got the visa it didn't say anything on it about the cities I was going to. Hope that helps.

Judge
17-03-2010, 00:04
@ Matt24,if you're planning a trip to Suzdal I suggest you also take your folks to Vladimir,this way you will use up another 48hrs, Suzdal is about 25km away,two nights in Vladimir and one in Suzdal or the other way round..

xSnoofovich
17-03-2010, 10:38
What about a boat ride around Moscow?

FatAndy
17-03-2010, 10:40
Agree, Vladimir+Suzdal = good idea, but needed to check with local hotels availability.

xSnoofovich, yes, it's possible to rent a whole rivership:
http://www.cck-ship.ru/?con_id=arenda_center - inside city
http://www.cck-ship.ru/?con_id=arenda_srv - North riverstation to outside

But also usual passenger/leisure trips like Kievsky vokzal - Novospassky most http://www.cck-ship.ru/?con_id=city They're not very certain yet about beginning of 2010 navigation - somewhen at April.

Matt24
17-03-2010, 17:43
What about a boat ride around Moscow?

you are cooking on gas, to my shame I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, are the rivers defrosted already? Great idea though thanks. Matt

Matt24
17-03-2010, 17:50
3 Month baby, this is what they are going to watch. Nothing else matter except the grandchild.
Any event that has to do with the Grandchild.

Park of Culture is good for a day and there is a little park nearby.

sounds like the voice of experience, to be honest I think you're probably right that given the chance my mum would want to spend every available moment with child, but having watched same set of grandparents with my sister's children at a very similar age, I feel that long term family goodwill is best served by diluting the amount of grandmotherly advice, with distractions.

Cheers Matt

andymackem
17-03-2010, 17:51
There are icebreaker river tours running at the moment - so it doesn't matter if you're ice-bound or not.

But be serious - you have a three-month old grandchild. If your parents are anything like mine, between watching the littl'un, cooing over it, running to tell you what it's doing and why they are cooing then going back to coo some more they won't notice if they're in Moscow, Miami, Mongolia or the Moon. Then they'll get on the phone to your siblings and repeat the whole process. I don't have kids myself, but I get a blow-by-blow account of my niece's entire existence thanks to granny and grandad's 24/7 commentary.