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Tsarskoye Selo


  In June, 2002, I traveled to Russia for the first time.  My plan was to travel across Siberia via the Trans-   Siberian Railway from Vladivostock to Moscow.  I would make one stop in Irkutsk in the middle of Siberia and would then continue on from Irkutsk to Moscow.   Upon reaching Moscow, I would stay there for five days.  After that, it's on to St. Petersburg for six days.  It was quite an adventurous plan considering that I didn't know the Russian language and there were so many unknowns about this huge expanse of an unknown world.
  I flew via Aeroflot Airlines to Vladivostok, landing on the roughest runway I have ever landed on.  I picked up my baggage in a very Cold War-esque conveyor belt and met the man who was to drive me into town.  I rode in a Toyota Forerunner with the steering wheel on the right side of the car.  Most of the cars in Vladivostok are like this since they are located so close to Japan.  It was a fairly long drive to the city, so I got to see a bit of the outer edges of Vladivostok.  What caught my eye were the numerous people standing at the side of the road hawking all sort of goods, none of which I would have considered buying.   As I entered the city limits, the traffic gnarled up like any other American city.   We hustled into the center of the city and reached our destination... Hotel Gavan.
  Rest of this story is coming... stay tuned.          


Copyright 2002 Dave Molinari.  All rights reserved.