To Russia with Love

Aboard a Flydubai plane to Russia, I still can’t believe that I’ll finally see you in a bit, Russia! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have always been in awe to see Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Saint Petersburg in pictures, but a travel to Russia has never been in my bucket list. For one, I have always been intimidated with the Russian language and alphabet. Secondly, Russia is widely known for its freezing temperature. And lastly, I have always thought that the Russian visa is hard to secure.

Well? From initial plans to go to Denmark, we’ve planned of having a Bosnian summer, then Slovenia. We cancelled the plan and thought of going for an animal safari in Tanzania and, next Armenia,ย then just thought of spending the Eid break in Bahrain or just stay in Qatar. And then the thought of a double birthday celebration (my friend’s and husband’s) in Russia popped up with less than a month’s time before the Eid break. And from there, the universe conspired for an Eid holiday rush to Russia.

And what about the Russian language, the Russian temperature and the Russian visa?

The Russian language and alphabet can be dealt with by resourcefulness. It would be tough, but I assume the way my friend and I used a combination of asking Mister Google and using sign languages when we travelled to Georgia, with a language and alphabet similarly difficult to comprehend as Russia, can do magic. Let’s see.

The current temperature in Russia is tolerable as it is currently their summer season. Though weather apps forecast cold weathers, I think the temperatures will be more tolerable (than during the winter season). We’ve packed both winter and summer clothes. Haha!

And the visa? It was really intimidating at first but it was relatively easy. Here’s how we secured ours:

1. We secured a tourist voucher from a hotel in Russia. This is about 15 usd. This is the most difficult task as you need to coordinate with someone you don’t know from Russia and involves a lot of trust. But once this is secured, all the other processes are easy-breezy. ๐Ÿ˜Š

2. We secured a travel medical insurance that is valid in Russia.

3. We filled up the online application form, which we accessed from the Russian Embassy website. We printed the application form.

4. We went to the Russian Embassy and submitted the application form along with the tourist voucher, travel medical insurance, passport and passport-sized picture. They will charge a visa processing fee.

5. The officer gave us a claim sheet, which should be presented on the day of visa issuance.

6. We went back on the day of visa issuance and wore our brightest smile. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hmm… I will set my feet in a bit on you, Russia! ๐Ÿ˜Š ย Ya gotov issledovat’ vam!

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