Visiting Moscow, Understanding its People

Although not somewhere I would normally choose to go, Moscow was the final port of call before catching the Trans-Siberian. I hadn’t heard much about Russia apart from all the Cold War/Soviet type things, and recently watching the film Farewell (which was very good). After doing a small amount of research about what to do it was hard to find much that wasn’t either Red Square or really far in the outskirts. I found out about a traditional puppet theatre, but this was too far away. As far as art galleries and contemporary exhibitions Moscow seems particularly sparse, favouring lavish independent art collections which will often be European Art.

 In feel Moscow is much like a European city, though obviously with Cyrillic rather than Roman alphabet everywhere. The metro is extremely easy to use, just paying for single journeys which can be anywhere in the city, no zones like London. The currency, Roubles roughly translates to 50 to £1. So a metro journey costs roughly 50p. Russians will often neither associate themselves as being Asian or European and class Moscow as being very multicultural, despite what I saw in the city centre which was almost entirely Caucasian faces, especially compared to the multiculturality of London. Read the rest of this entry »

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Budgeting for my trip; Expenses before departure.

Since going travelling has become a reality I’ve listened to many people say they also intend to travel, sometimes after saving up for only a few months whilst I have spent the large part of a year saving and still worry about having enough to travel with. There have been many expenses which I didn’t particularly think about beforehand such as insurance and vaccinations so I thought I would write a short budgeting guide which I hope will provide me with everything I need and desire on the first 6 months of my trip. I don’t really know what I will be doing after 6 months so budgeting for that is a complete stab in the dark, as long as I have enough for a flight back to Europe and 2 weeks of living in contingency then I’m satisfied.

Backpack – Controversially I spent £18 on my back pack and it holds 35l. It was reduced from £60 and I don’t intend to be in any climate other than hot and humid so I can (hopefully) get away with this light treat. I plan on making a separate entry on the contents of my backpack but for now I will summarise that including netbook (300) the contents of my backpack costs roughly £500. This is with nothing more specialised than a silk sleep sack, swiss army knife etc. Read the rest of this entry »

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