June 6, 2013
Russian Far East
My bags were packed, standing at
attention outside my cabin door,
as requested, by 7:00 am.
I saw it from my balcony, the glare of the early morning sun lighting its way across the sea.
The little yellow tugboat chugging out from Petropavlovsk to guide us into port......and to drop off the Russian officials who would check our passports, those costly entry/exit visas, paperwork etc. and allow us to disembark the Caledonia Sky one more time.....well we were praying this would happen and thankfully it did. Great job Noble Caledonia line, you were fabulous in every way.
The city looked misty. The volcanoes frowned down on it, still cloaked in vestiges of Winter, but the sun was out and when we did eventually land we noticed there were already changes since the visit just a few days before. The air felt different and trees were much greener. Summertime had arrived on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
After disembarking, saying goodbye to crew, expedition team, and new friends, we headed to the airport through the countryside which was coming to life around the little dachas (country houses). The earth was being tilled, Russians enjoy growing their own vegetables during the Summer.......
.....new construction was underway - ever-present mountains in the distance - hopefully earthquake-proof,
as don't forget they occur here almost daily...
.....and the ladies had hidden their hefty Winter coats in the back of the closet, and stored those furry hats and snow boots for a few months! Noted: Russian gals LOVE very high heels.
Can you believe THIS....................
........flying on the airline all of us used to say never, ever will I do it. Aeroflot, with such a terrible safety record in the past! But, when it's the only airline flying to Moscow from the far reaches of eastern Russia, we had no choice. Have to say they are doing much better and their equipment is now up to date. This was a big Boeing 777 - and apparently, and most important, they maintain them better! The map pic is from my seat video screen - showing the flight of nine plus hours across Siberia to Moscow.
The Arctic is quite visible and was not too far
north of our route.
Click to enlarge images.
Coming soon........Moscow 'post cards' - views and stories from an amazing city.