Tour of the Russian Wonders: Moscow and St. Petersburg in 5 days

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Tour of the Russian Wonders: Moscow and St. Petersburg in 5 days

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than in miles – Tim Cahill

We had met in Delhi after a gap of 25 years on the occasion of silver jubilee of passing out of college. It was then that four of my classmates and I had decided to go on an all women’s trip to relive our old camaraderie in a new place, in a different city, maybe in a different country.

 

Thus, began the search for a tour company and we got in touch with SOTC holidays for their World Tour Packages.

For us Indians, Russia generally does not come across as a top destination of choice for tourism as it is perceived as a cold and distant place, off the radar. But, that was precisely the reason why we chose Russia.

As Aldous Huxley has said –

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.

SOTC Holidays suggested a customized tour package for us to two Russian cities – Moscow and St Petersburg. We decided to grab this opportunity to see the present capital and the past capital of Russia. It took us about a month of planning and coordination to finalize the tour and finally in the 3rd week of August, we set off on a five day trip to St Petersburg and Moscow. Our itinerary included 3 days of stay in St. Petersburg and 2 days in Moscow, with guided city tours scheduled on the 2nd and 5th day of the trip.

Delhi was the starting point of our group tour (three of my friends stay in Delhi). Boarding the early morning flight from Delhi, we landed in Moscow. From there we got onto the flight for St. Petersburg. Strangely, we had to check out our luggage at Moscow and after completing the immigration, check in again on the flight to St Petersburg. It was a short flight. In one and a half hours, we were in St. Petersburg, the city known for its art, splendid architecture, beautiful gardens, magnificent cathedrals and the largest museum in Europe,

Arrival at St Petersburg

A young lady named Jane received us at the airport at St Petersburg and accompanied us to our hotel in the van. On the way, she briefed us a little on the city. The driver spoke only Russian though. The weather was pleasantly warm. We reached hotel Marco Polo by 1.30 pm and checked into the two rooms that were booked for the five of us. By 4.00 pm, we were all set to go out and explore the port city, which is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North.

Hermitage Museum
Hermitage Museum across River Neva

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Lufthansa A380 – Why Bigger is better for Indian aviation

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

India Embraces Airbus A380   – The news made headlines in Jan 2014.                                                                                                                                                 

India’s decision to allow Airbus 380 is a welcome decision for India’s aviation industry and for the global airlines that seek to further leverage India’s aviation market – one of the five fastest-growing markets in terms of additional passengers per year.

Consent to let the wide body double-decker plane fly into and out of India, sets the ground for ‘Big being Better’ for India’s aviation.

The world’s largest passenger aircraft, Airbus A380 that can seat 850 passengers in an all-economy configuration, and 550-600 passengers in a three-class configuration, is allowed to land at the airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, which are equipped with A380 enabled infrastructure including runway, taxiway and aerobridges, and also have higher peak hour handling capacities.

Singapore Airlines became the first carrier to launch commercial flights of A380 on Singapore-Delhi and Singapore-Mumbai routes, followed by Dubai-based Emirates Airlines that started daily A380 flights between Mumbai and Dubai. Lufthansa, not to stay behind to meet growing passenger needs, became the third airline to fly A380 planes to India on November 2014, starting A380 flights on the sought after Frankfurt-Delhi route.

Thus starts a new era in Indian aviation!

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