Safety Concerns : Only a 2-3 on a scale of 10 at this moment I never thought this situation could escalate and deteriorate so quickly? .It is impossible to predict what the situation could be in 5 -6 weeks. If we had just let them win the Gold Medal in Hockey, that might have been enough for him.
IF the visa does get approved ( Hey -- I was NOT on today's sanction list!!!!!), I plan on continuing with the trip as planned. We will be on a 13 day escorted river cruise between MOS - ST P with 5 nights in small villages between and I am sure it will be safe and we will not get caught up in any skirmishes or tank maneuvers, unless Vlad decides to use the White Knights as an excuse to move into Estonia.
I think we will just take it day by day, but in the meantime, I am going to start making some alternative travel plans.
I will have to call Lufthansa and see what my options are for making changes to the second and return legs of my flight, or, I 'll have to plan a trip that will allow me to train my way north from Vienna to Tallin so I can get my flight home from Helsinki on 5/29. Wherever will I go??? So many choices...so much reading to do in so little time. And I will be on a tight budget because so much of my travel budget is already tied up in this tour. Another challenge!
TravellAllRussia is the Tour company we are using. They are located in DC, and they hand carry passports and applications to Russian consulate on a daily basis. They say they have a very good relationship with Consulate workers, they're all Russian themselves, and have an almost 100% success rate, so I will follow up with them and not panic yet about my passport.
I may end up taking some pre-vacation time off to plan this "new" vacation. PLEASE offer me some suggestions.(I like history/museums/castles/cathedrals/ all in moderation; don't care about beer or wine;/concentration camp visits are OK/city girl/LOVE train travel - time is NOT wasted time/ no air travel - intra Europe - that is wasted time)
Arrive Vienna 5/3.
Depart Vienna 5/13
Moscow - Start Plan B here:
Slovenia - 5/13 - 5/16.(This is my Current #1 on future travel list but may be going in wtong direction for this trip)
Would like to keep Tallin 5/27 - Ferry to
Helsinki 5/29 - Charlotte
Truly appreciate any ideas and suggestions. Benn planning this trip since 2011. This trip is just jinxed...every year something happened....I am determined to get this done this year. THANKS