We made the straightforward but arduous trip from London to Kursk via Moscow on Sunday missing the Liverpool Manchester United game which turned out to be a blessing.
We spent the night before the flight at London's Gatwick Premier Inn which as a seasoned traveller and hotel user I wasn't expecting too much but I have to say it was brilliant.
Exactly what you need from a stopover hotel; clean; in full working order; reasonably priced; very comfortable beds and brilliant staff.
No idea how they are executing their business model but it’s working, I'm considering taking my fortnights summer holiday there.
The four hour flight was straightforward, we even managed to get 129kg of luggage on board without any additional hassle and I couldn't quibble the extra £30 it cost me, in my experience that’s a bargain.
The children were questioned at passport control, their passport photographs which had been taken when they were days old no longer looks like them now they are two and four, who’d have thought?
The four year old was asked in Russian what his name was, to which he replied, in Russian. He was then asked what his Papa’s name was, “Dad” was his straight-faced answer. That’s my boy.
We then drove eight hours south to Kursk which will be our jumping off point for the 4KKM Crop Tour™.
I have spent the intervening days catching up on sleep; trying to register my arrival (a legal requirement for all visitors to Russia), twice now and both times unsuccessfully; buy SIM cards which took two hours (two staff, queues out the door, complicated registration process); sort out transport (my previous rental guy who is 50 has joined the army and is now charge of a howitzer); buy some food (supermarkets full) and just generally get up to speed in this fast paced, take no prisoners country.
I think we are nearly getting there.
If you want to register for the 4KKM Crop Tour™ and follow the fun from a safe and comfortable distance, drop me a line for details of how to subscribe.