Published: July 19th 2011July 19th 2011
Greetings from the Russian Federation!
I am not sure if this blog should even 'count' but it is the second day in a row we have been in sovereign Russian territory. And we did get a stamp, eat a Russian meal, and get treated rudely...
The story goes even further back than two days, however. We start in China. For about a week I tried calling 5 or so different Russian embassy numbers in China but no avail. Even when I got a person, they said to call back at a different time. So our efforts to get a transit visa in China were thwarted. Even the Russian embassy websites in China and America do not list the price or what is needed to get this "transit visa."
In Mongolia after a week of holidays we got to the embassy. They see foreigners for just 1 hour in the afternoon. But they do not serve the end of the line. On our day, from a huge line, just the first 6 or 7 people got in to talk to someone. I thought that the people in the back would riot. I did get in though, and after schmoozing a bit with the embassy official, he in the end only agreed that he would "expedite my visa" and I could pick it up the next day. Still he had our itinerary so that wouldnt work since our plane left early in the morning.
Then coming to Moscow Sheremetevo airport, the immigration official just said "not possible".. so here we are from 9am to 10pm in the airport secure zone. It is a rather large prison, but still we could have easily gone to the Kremlin, St. Basils, Red Square and eaten borshcht today... I know that other nations have a hard time getting into America too, but I was so excited to see a bit of Russia today and show Laura as well. Its probably for the best though. We are both sunburnt fromm Mongolia and Laura proudly barfed to the North, South, East and West at the Ulaanbaatar airport! So today we relax and look forward to our visit to Ukraine! ....No visa required!