It’s midnight and I’m lost in Moscow City! I’m supposed to find the hotel just couple of meters away from the train station! nothing here..I’m confused, walking alone, pulling my luggage and it’s getting rainy! No mobile data, no one to call and all the bad thoughts are coming to my mind,! 15 minutes later; the hotel is just a head of me! Sigh, Thank god, I’m in the right place but I turned right instead of left after getting out from the station.
I’m in the hotel reception now, fortunately there’s a reservation in my name and everything is good..now I’m in my room feeling protected and checking Facebook/viber and mobile notifications!
I slept very well as I had a tough journey from Jerusalem to Moscow , had my breakfast in the hotel and went out to the street; I bought some stuff and got equipped with Galaxy Note 2 + Beeline 3G SIM which is enough for the challenge of Russia! .
I stayed three nights in Moscow; visited some great attractions such as: Kremlin, RedSquare and Gorky park, I was always using Google maps to get to anything by metro.
Gorky park visit was in my last day; it’s really an amazing place; extends over a large area and has dense forests and rivers and great nature; BUT I got lost when trying to leave home!, in that time I was remembering some horror movies when the serial killer comes out from among the trees and drags you in 🙂
It took me more than 40 minutes to get to the closest metro station! I was using mobile as always but the place had a lot of subways so it was kind of maze!
Now I’m done with Moscow; packed my stuff and heading to Domodedovo airport by Aeroexpress train as I’ll be flying to St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) where I’m going to attend RIPE NCC courses.
I stayed in Nevsky Prospect street, which is the most famous in the city, has a lot of history and ancient buildings .
During my stay I attended three training courses in Novotel St. Petersburg center which are:
- LIR Training Course
- IPv6 for LIRs Training Course
- Routing Security Training Course
The courses were informative, interesting and fun; talking about LIRs (Local Internet Registry) and cover many important topics such as IPv6, BGP and addresses allocation.
The instructors (Ferenc Csorba and Pedro Vaz) were very good and friendly, I can’t forget Ferenc’s unbelievable sense of humor and endless stories :).
I see some of you look like: what the hell is RIPE NCC at first? well, RIPE NCC stands to Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre, it’s the Regional Internet Registry for Middle east, Europe and Central Asia, they’re responsible of ISPs resources allocation such as AS#, IPv4 and IPv6 block of addresses, also they support the development of the Internet and coordinate with the other RIRs in the world.
All the ISPs and service providers in the region are members of this organization and it has a policy to provide such training courses on a weekly basis in all over the region.
Frankly I was impressed by their services, arrangements and professionalism, thank you so much guys!
Now let’s mention some remarks about the Russian experience:
- The language is an issue; they don’t speak English! (St. Petersburg better) I used to translate via mobile and show them!
- If you wanna enjoy your stay; have a 3G SIM and install Trip Adviser, Google Translator, Google Maps, Booking and other apps.
- Don’t take Taxis in Moscow!; use the Metro instead and I believe it covers everything.
- It’s nice to learn some words and phrases in Russian, I’d mention: privet, Dobroye utro, da, net, spasibo, Dobryy vecher, kak dela, YA khorosho..etc)
- Despite the fact that Russia is competing with the USA; but obviously in terms of economics USA is the leader!, some indications: the common fast food restaurants are: Macdonalds, KFC, Pizza hut, Subway and others, the first drink is Pepsi and the popular mobile phone is iPhone!.
- Don’t ever exchange your money (Dollar To Ruble) at airports.
- The country is quite safe and I faced ZERO troubles.
- I used Ukraine International Airlines for my foreign flights and S7 Airlines for the domestic ones, both are good but S7 more elegant I think and has nice planes.
- I had a lot of waiting times at various airports, mainly I was spending time on mobile and here I’m sharing the below song which was the “top-played” on my trip and reminds me with the Russian experience every-time I hear it 🙂
As a bottom line; I would say that Russia is an amazing country, has a friendly people, great heritage and historical places, breathtaking nature and pretty girls!
On my way back home; I took the following exhausted path: Pulkovo Airport (St. Petersburg) –> Domodedovo Airport (Moscow) –> Kiev (Ukraine) –> Tel-Aviv and finally to sweet home in Jerusalem!.
More pics and videos: