YUSUPOV Palace where Rasputin was murdered | St Petersburg, Russia | YUSUPOV Palace is were the story of Rasputin’s murder unfolds. Located right off the channel of the Moika River, once residence of the Yusupov family. Grigory Rasputin, was a peasant whom over the years, thanks to his, so believed, healing powers, gain the sympathy and trust of the Tsar’s family. Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading YUSUPOV Palace where Rasputin was murdered
Aeroflot Russian reliable airline? | Moscow, Russia | For over years and years I have heard many comments and reviews over Aeroflot, being a problematic airline, not reliable, unsafe… bla bla bla… so being who and how I am, I decided to give them a try. I flew Paris to New York, with a connection at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, and I must say Aeroflot from now on ranks as one of my TOP choices to fly to this side of the world and alternative locations in Asia. FYI Aeroflot is member of Sky Team, partnering on many routes and flights with Delta Airlines.
I would describe Aeroflot as professional, welcoming, reliable, punctual, comfortable and entertaining. In my head, for those routes I like and enjoy flying and visiting, a new and unexpected rival to Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airlines. Of course do not expect the new A 380 Double Deck (at least for now), or if you choose to fly First Class not your option yet either, but in basic plain economy, their services, seats, entertainment system, are complimented by very accessible and competitive prices. In my case, Paris to New York OW was without taxes, EUR 500 last minute purchase 10 hours before the flight due to Hurricane Sandy hitting New York with all airports closing for 2 days, when I was truly expecting to pay over EUR 1000.
Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) is HUGE, but not quite spectacular I might say. I spend there over 9 hours at Terminal F, which fully belongs to Aeroflot and Sky Team. They do offer free WiFi, lots of electricity outlets (which out airports like Dubai), but there is not much to do, not many restaurants or shops. If you DO have a long connection time, you can always take the express train that in 35 minutes take you close to Red Square and come back, BUT for this you will need more than a Transit Visa and some time allowance to go in and out security, luggage room, etc.
Frequent Flyer Program, as member of Sky Team, you can redeem or collect miles – as I did – with Delta Airlines for example.
Onboard their Airbus 330-300 entertainment is fabulous, not as good and as many options in different languages as Emirates, but with over 10 new releases, and almost 50 other options. Great music selection, and games. Also you have the option to plug your iPad or iPhone at your seat in your own electricity outlet. They do promote WiFi access on their marketing material, but none of my flights regional or international had that service. Probably only on domestic flights.
Food wise, in economy class was more that sufficient and of very good quality and with healthy choices. They even distribute a menu with your meal options. On my international flight from Moscow to New York (almost 10 hours) I was served a full lunch upon departure and a full dinner 2 hours before landing. Beverage options, include free alcoholic drinks, but they serve directly from the BOX, yes you read correct, not very classy, and for wine lovers like me, well I missed my white wine small bottle which the least gives you two full glasses. On the regional flight from Paris to Moscow (3 hours and 3o minutes) the offer you a full lunch.
This time, I could not use my charm and charisma to get me upgraded to Business Class, but this is how it looked from the distance. Based on my commitment on experiential travel, I cannot say much about it since I have not tried it myself, but it looked pretty good. And from what I heard, seats recline almost to 180 degrees, the pitch between seats was more than enough for that.
But I DID secure, thanks for the agent in Paris, to get what I call my Ghetto UPGRADE. This is when you get the agent to block the seat next to you and get your own private row of two seats, since for long international flights I always choose window seat and over the wing, which in most cases give you 2 full windows for yourself. Hey I am spoiled and have spent almost half of my life on planes, I DO know what I want and how I wanted, even when traveling Economy. But I must say that if you do not get to secure the Ghetto Upgrade as I did, well the pitch in Economy class Aeroflot, I might say is a bit too tight and narrow. They should increase it a little bit, it is a 10 hours flight… I would go crazy if I had to be seated on the middle of the 4 seas middle row.
I am so happy I choose and got to try Aeroflot, specially on the weather conditions I got to fly yesterday, departing Moscow on the scene you see above, and being the last plane to land at JFK Airport in New York, together with Air France A 380, before they shut down the airport for two days, due to Hurricane Sandy, canceling over 7,200 flights. I mean if there are pilots that can put up with this weather conditions, without a doubt are the Russians.
If not, look at the video below, how they were defrosting the planes at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, yesterday morning, right before our eyes.
As I always say, reporting LIVE… not talking from a brochure or website. This is the difference between old school travel agents like me, and others. Travel by Experience, my main commitment to you all. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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GPS Carlos Melia defrosting planes at Sheremetyevo Airport | Moscow, Russia | One of the five airports of Moscow and one of the biggest ones. I have arrived this morning on Aeroflot airline, to connect to my flight to New York City. Frozen snowy morning. Welcome to snowy Moscow. This is when I realize I am such a lucky guy, and that everything happens for a GOOD reason. You just need to interpretate and let yourself flow. My wish to see Moscow covered in snow is granted. !! Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading GPS Carlos Melia defrosting planes at Sheremetyevo Airport
Kremlin intra-muros and Armory Chamber | Moscow, Russia | One of the must visit destinations when in Moscow. The Kremlin (meaning fortress) is not the only on its kind in Russia, but definitely the most unique and relevant on Russian history. Overlooking the Moskva River (to the South), Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square (to the East) and the Alexander Garden (to the West). Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading Kremlin intra-muros and Armory Chamber
Tour of the Metro Stations in Moscow Russia | Moscow, Russia | Some of the most beautiful metro stations in the world, the chance to explore the underground side of Moscow. We jumped and transition through 3 stations that pretty much gave me, once again, the impressive architecture of this fascinating city. The world’s third most used metro after Tokyo and Seoul, with an average daily passengers traffic of 6.6 million. Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading Tour of the Metro Stations in Moscow Russia
GPS Carlos Melia Moscow to Paris | Moscow, Russia | Overlooking the views of the Kremlin and the Red Square from the window of my Suite at the National Hotel in Moscow, I am saying goodbye to Moscow, and heading back to Paris for my last two nights of my month and a half tour around and across Europe. What and incredible and unforgettable journey that has taken me from France to Sweden, Finland and finally to one of my 2012 Travel Bucket Lists – Russia. Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading GPS Carlos Melia Moscow to Paris
Hotel Check IN National Hotel Moscow | Moscow, Russia | One of the landmark hotels of the city of Moscow, located right across the Red Square, the Kremlin and the National Museum. Built in 1903 by famed Russian architect Alexander Ivanov, Hotel National has been an awe-inspiring historic landmark for more than a century. Member of The Luxury Collection. Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading Hotel Check IN National Hotel Moscow
Catherine’s Summer Palace Tour | St Petersburg, Russia | One of the nicest and most interesting tour I did during my recent visit to St Petersburg, was the tour to the town of Pushkin (approx. 50 minutes or 25 km away from St Petersburg) to see the Summer Palace of Catherine The Great. The Rococo former summer retreat of one of the greatest Tsaritsas of Russia. Check out and follow my Instagram Photo Album on Russia. Continue reading Catherine’s Summer Palace Tour