Tag Archive: russia

Travel – value for money

Before planning a voyage, what is most important ? not only deciding on the destination, but planning the entire package and logistics. The question mostly asked by most is: “do I get value for my money ?” Because, let’s face it, most of us are restricted by a budget.
In my many years of traveling, I mostly traveled alone, except for that particular year 2012, when I decided to purchase a complete trip package directly from the (overseas) agent.
Examples of value for money:
One entire month in a resort by the Gulf of Hammamet, Tunisia, all inclusive, a bright big room with terrace on the second floor facing the ocean, two large swimming pools, daily and nightly entertainment, all day food and drink (bottled water, wine, champaigne) – all included. Also included return flight from and to Frankfurt/DEU and a full-coverage travel insurance with emergency health. All of this for 1.046EUR ($1,500). I only had to add return flight from/to Canada
There is a deal.
Another deal: Cruise from Vancouver to San Francisco, cabin with balcony (double occupancy), return flight for two San Francisco to Victoria, pickup at home, and nice hotel room on the Wharf, San Francisco. Per person CAD$900. We only needed to buy the food for the three days in San Francisco.
Another one: Eight days St. Petersburg, return flight Berlin, Hotel Moscwa, food, dinners, lunches, daily guided tours, admission to Eremitage [ http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eremitage_%28Sankt_Petersburg%%5D and many palaces. Around 1.000EUR. (Russian Visa around 50).
I do not understand why travel medical and emergency insurance costs three or four times as much when bought in North America instead of in the destination country.     


Saint Petersburg Russia visit

Before the city was built, the area was still a part of Novgorod, dating back to the 9th century, a trade center by the Baltic Sea. Peter The Great (Пётр Вели́кий, Pyotr Velikiy 1672-1725), the builder of the city, was instrumental in opening the city to its Western influences. One of Peter’s main goals was to regain access to the Baltic Sea and Baltic trade. In 1700 he started the Northern War with Sweden, which lasted for 21 years, and resulted in a victorious Russia taking the vast lands on the Baltic coast as its spoils of war. During the course of the war St. Petersburg was founded (1703) on the delta of the Neva River. It truly became a European centre of culture. Peter designed the city as another Amsterdam and Venice. Having visited St Petersburg recently and also having lived in Holland eight years and visited Amsterdam many times, I can say it is in many of its aspects reminiscent of the streets of Amsterdam, with the difference that the grand boulevards (such as the nevsky prospect [ http://www.saint-petersburg.com/virtual-tour/nevsky-prospect/ ]) in St. Petersburg are of a much grander scale. I walked it from the shores of the Neva back to Hotel Moskwa. This is a city I would always enjoy to re-visit.

I had joined an organised tour group from Germany – flying from Berlin to Saint Petersburg with Rossiya Airlines. Our group then met at St. Petersburg’s airport. It is almost imperative to go with a tour group, because of the wealth of cultural sights this city has to offer. I would have missed many where I to do this on my own. We stayed at the Hotel Moskwa, a huge (couple of blocks long) hotel, so big that it feels like a small city when coming down for breakfast. And what a breakfast it was, huge amounts of diverse healthy foods, fabulous. The city of St. Petersburg is one of the few grand cities in European style which has so much to offer in cultural history, buildings, churches, and museum treasures. I enclose here the first instalment only of my visit: Summer Palace of Catherine The Great of Russia, Tsarskoe Selo, Pushkin, Pushkin (Russian: Пу́шкин) is a municipal town in Pushkinsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located 24 kilometers (15 mi) south from the center of St. Petersburg proper,[6] and its railway station, Detskoye Selorussia_reduced