Had a pretty good night's sleep, only woke up a couple of times. The bed and pillows are DIVINE! I don't want to get out of it. Thanks to Phil, who coughs all over the place, I have caught his cold and seem to be losing my voice.
We packed up and went over to the airport to have a quick breakfast before we started the drive home. The airport was chokkas as so many planes fly through the night and land early in the morning in Sydney. We had an uneventful trip home and arrived back at 11.45am, which is two and a half hours from the airport to our place.
The country side is so green and our place looks so nice with all the Spring daisies in bloom.
Canola fields near Lake George.
Unpacked, started the washing, took the hire car back, went grocery shopping and watered the indoor plants. Only lost two but one is looking a big sick.
Went to the Post Office to collect my parcel of Matryoska dolls that were posted to me from Helen of the gift shop on the Scenic Tzar. I am pleased to say they arrived in one piece and look fabulous. The kids at Macquarie will be very happy to receive one, I hope. As expected, Australian Customs opened the box and checked the wood, but left me a note inside the box to say they had done so.
So, summing up the last six weeks in dot points.
We had a great trip and enjoyed every minute. Met some great people, some okay people and some not so great people, but in a group of 98, that's just the law of averages.
Food in Russia - if you like meat, potatoes and mushrooms, then you'll do okay. No green veges here, but I'm not sure why. Haven't they heard of importing?
Traffic in Moscow was horrendous.
St Petersburg is the most beautiful city in the world, I think.
It helped us to appreciate the oppressions of past generations and to realise, but we already know it, that by living in Australia, we are living in the best country in the world - BAR NONE!
Australia is a young country and hasn't inherited the hang ups of past atrocities that are imbedded in the history and culture of these people.
It makes you understand why Russians appear so dour. The people don't smile, not even the babies!
The cars are dirty.
The cities are very, very clean.
The Ritz Carlton Berlin was probably the best hotel of the trip. The breakfast was stunning - only hotel I have ever been in that had fresh passionfruit for breakfast. However, it seems I was allergic to the body lotion as my face puffed up with a red rash and my face felt like sandpaper.
I was disappointed when we went to Red Square in Moscow. I was looking forward to seeing this huge big square that we have seen so many times on television, with rows and rows of tanks and armoured vehicles and rows and rows of soldiers marching through it, but on the day we were there, half of it was fenced off and some cossacks were practising horse riding and the rest of Red Square was covered with tents and stalls. Apparently, Red Square is hired out all the time to whom ever wants it, as they need the money. It's a shame because it is quite a stunning looking place.
The low lights and I mean LOW - the two pick pocket attempts on me on Athens. Despicable!