Travel to the Faroe Islands – Travel Geek UK

With adventure tourism booming in the land of fire and ice in Iceland and cruise passenger numbers increasing for Norway, I wonder when it be the Faroe Islands turn to encounter a burst in tourist figures? Thankfully 2017 might just be the one as they have experienced a 20.5% increase in passenger arrivals at the islands only airport, so I think it’s time for me to check out what all the fuss is about!

The Faroe Islands are located just north of Scotland and although similar in scenery the weather can often be quite different due to being in the milder waters of the Gulf Stream. With 18 beautiful islands, some only accessible by ferry, it is no wonder that people are starting to realise that Iceland isn’t the only northern country that they need to explore. Just what is there to discover here? Well, before I visited I knew very little about the place including what to see and where to go. Thankfully after trawling the internet, checking out some blogs and Instagram photos I built up an image in my mind of how I was going to explore this wild and unspoiled landscape. The reason for the trip? Well, it was my partners birthday and he had always wanted to visit somewhere in Scandinavia, obviously the Faroe’s aren’t officially classed as this but it was still heading north! After considering several options, I opted for the Faroe Islands simply because I hadn’t been but also because I knew that tourism is starting to pick up here and I was intrigued to go and see it for myself.

Happy Birthday Oliver!

I often get very fed up of living in the U.K, things can be quite stressful, busy and even chaotic depending on which part you live in, so for me travel and experiencing a different way of life is like my religion; it helps me learn, it helps me to grow as a person and best of all I now have someone to spoil and experience these life-changing moments with.

Have you ever imagined getting away from everything, yet still feeling connected? With just a one hour flight from Edinburgh, I opted to fly with the national airline of the Faroe Islands; Atlantic Airways, who thankfully turned out to be really great. Upon arrival you’ll likely be one of only a handful of flights to land that day at the very small but perfectly formed Vágar Airport. Stepping off the plane and breathing in the crisp, clean air is like, well a breath of fresh air. My experience of going through passport control was a breeze and I even got a nice “Welcome to the Faroe Islands”, this is always a good sign in my opinion of how friendly a country will be.

Gasadalur – a must-see place for any visit to the Faroe Islands

Admittedly the Faroe’s aren’t that easy to get around if you don’t drive, there is public transport buses but if you are looking for some freedom then I’d recommend hiring a car. Once again after a very quick check in process, before I knew it we had our hands on Renault beast that was to prove invaluable throughout our four day adventure. After my partner, Oliver, drove out of the airport on the wrong side of the road we thankfully got to grips with our new home and after only a short 15 minute drive we arrived in the perfect place for a bit of P&Q – Gasadalur. Most people will only briefly visit here to see the incredible natural beauty of Mulafossur Waterfall, but they are missing out on the unique opportunity to experience what it’s like to stay in a village with a population of only 18 people.

I often find city life can be incredibly stressful and as I describe it, an assault on every sense so places like this as perfect for me to escape. In Gasadalur there’s only one place to stay; a beautiful boutique guesthouse that has recently been built but includes a Scandinavian design (thanks Ikea) with cute and quirky Faroese touches including a woollen tea cosy and a wooden penguin. Next door is the village’s only cafe that serves traditional Faroese food including rye bread, prawns and smoked salmon. Thankfully we were just in time for dinner, but before that we met an absolutely adorable puppy who was only two months old, I seriously wanted to adopt the little mischief!

I *heart* dogs, when can I adopt him?!

Unfortunately for me and Oli, during our first night a weather system had developed and it was incredibly windy, to the point that we honestly thought our house was going to blow away, so much so that when a gust of wind occurred the whole place shook! Was pretty scary, it also meant that I woke up at 4.30am but got to experience true Faroese weather at its worst. Thankfully for me the next day it had fully cleared and the sun shined a balmy 12 degrees.

It was time to leave our wonderful turfed roof home and make our way towards the capital, Tórshavn, but not before I put my walking boots on and discover the other natural beauty of Vágar Island – Sørvágsvatn Lake. It is the Faroe Islands largest lake and sits approximately 40m above sea level, it features the stunning Bøsdalafossur waterfall where you see the sheer power of Mother Nature when the mighty waterfall plunges deep into the North Atlantic Ocean.

Sørvágsvatn Lake – the Faroe Islands largest lake

After a short 35 minute ride and my first ever sub-sea car journey, I arrived on the island of Streymoy and the capital of the Faroe Islands; Tórshavn (Thors Harbour). As one of the smallest capital cities in the world, it has only 20,000 inhabitants and boy do you notice it! It has a very laid-back, quiet yet quirky feel where you might get the opportunity to run in to the Prime Minister in the historic old part of the city, Tinganes; that basically translates as “parliament point”. With beautiful grass roofs and brightly painted wooden buildings it gives you the sense that you’ve stepped back in time.

Torshavn – the capital of the Faroe Islands

Although there isn’t a huge amount to see or do in Tórshavn, I definitely recommend spending at least one night here. I stayed at Hotel Føroyar – the only 4* place in the whole country, although for me personally it felt a little dated and I preferred other places that I stayed at throughout my trip. It is particularly famous for the time that U.S President Bill Clinton popped by in 2007 and stayed on his visit, although a myriad of other celebrities and famous people have also stayed here. Be sure to check out the rather normal Presidential Suite!

As it was Oli’s birthday I thought I’d treat him to a special meal, I had to book well in advance but I was able to get us into the only Michelin-starred restaurant in the Faroe Islands, the rather amusingly named Koks. Previously this was located in Hotel Føroyar but has since relocated to its own premises only a short 15 minute drive away. Unfortunately for me he wasn’t feeling 100% and after sampling only a handful of taster menu dishes he opted to sadly sit this one out, I think that might have been a wise move though as some of the dishes didn’t really float my boat. Have you ever fancied raw sea urchin, whale blubber or barely cooked clam? Hmm no, sadly not for me but worth trying local Faroese cuisine.

Koks – The only Michelin-starred restaurant on the Faroe Islands

The morning after and thankfully slowly recovering from my non-appetising food experience, we set off for a wander around Tórshavn. Although petite, it was really nice to simply wander although that might have had something to do with the beautiful and rather unexpected September sunshine I experienced when I visited.

Only whaling station left in the Northern Hemisphere at Við Áir

So, I’m going to approach the subject of whaling with extreme caution but sadly this is what the Faroe Islands are most unfortunately known for. Although I am completely against the practise I do believe that the world is beyond cruel to most animals, not just whales and therefore I was intrigued to visit the the only whaling station left in the Northern Hemisphere at Við Áir. Thankfully it has been defunct since 1985, except for a stranded Sperm whale that spectacularly exploded in 2013 when the rotting carcass was cut into and subsequently the clip went viral. There were plans to create an open-air museum here but when I checked this place out in September 2017 everywhere was empty/abandoned.

The beauty of a driving holiday here is that you can easily pull over and stop to admire the stunning panoramic views whilst getting to explore places that are a bit more off-the-beaten track. After leaving the capital we headed north towards our last overnight stop of Gjógv but before we arrived I made a detour to the remote village of Saksun. Be sure to time your arrival properly, unlike me who arrived sadly during high tide which will affect you seeing the most famous view of black sand, yes that’s right BLACK sand! According to Wikipedia, this place used to be an inlet of the sea which formed a natural deepwater harbour but sadly after a fierce storm this became subsequently unaccessible due to being filled by sand. It’s a fascinating place to visit, surrounded by high mountains on every side it makes for an exciting walk.

Saksun and its magical and mysterious black sands

When planning this trip I really struggled to find good accommodation, mostly due to the remoteness and also lack of investment there are very few hotels so I often had to opt for what I could find, this was definitely the case in Gjógv. There’s only one guesthouse, although if I’d used Air BnB I could have stayed in some beautiful old houses. Ah well, next time. Thankfully for us it was everything we needed to explore this part of Eysturoy island. Gjógv in Faroese means gorge, which is what the village is most famous for. It forms a natural harbour where, if you are lucky enough you’ll see vessels being pulled up the rather steep ramp to the village. Make sure if you get a clear evening you walk to the end of the path above the harbour to sit and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. If you like walking I’d recommend making Gjógv your starting point for hiking to the highest mountain in the whole of the Faroe Islands; Slættaratindur, standing at a huge 880m this was definitely not on my itinerary list but driving past this beast was an incredible sight to see.

Exploring Gjogv

Sadly it was almost time to leave the beautiful and unspoiled Faroe Islands but before we ventured back home, there is something I had to do – drive through a sub-sea tunnel! It’s one of the most unique features of this country and we took on the biggest one there is; Norðoyatunnilin. At 6.3km long and 150 metres beneath sea-level this is one of the must-do things to test out whilst you’re here, don’t worry about passing places here though as it is the newest tunnel completed in 2015. One of the most unique features about this place is that at the deepest point it turns into a rainbow tunnel for a short distance! I noticed that this won’t be the newest tunnel for long as they are currently building the Eysturoyartunnilin between the capital and two islands. This will be the world’s longest sub-sea tunnel and will even include a roundabout – how cool is that! I’m definitely heading back to check that out when it opens in 2020.

Driving in the Faroe Islands is pretty normal until you reach a sub-sea tunnel!

After passing through the island of Borðoy and into Viðoy we arrived at Viðareiði; the most northern settlement in the country and basically the end of the road. There isn’t a huge amount to do here but the scenery more than makes up for that and especially knowing that the only thing north of you is the Norwegian volcanic island of Jan Mayen before the mighty Arctic.

Travelling to the Faroe Islands can be difficult at certain times of the year, I was here in September 2017, this is right at the end of the typical tourist season (May-September) when things are starting to shut down or have reduced hours but due to its location in the Gulf Stream this place doesn’t get quite as cold as you might think. There are opportunities to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) here due to the lack of people and light pollution I’d highly recommend this place as an alternative to Iceland.

Costs

Although expensive, the Faroe Islands aren’t quite as extreme as Norway or Iceland due to the Faroese Krona being pegged to the Danish currency which is often typically lower than other Scandinavian countries. This isn’t to say that bargains can’t be found, especially when it comes to accommodation. If you shop around and use websites like AirBnB and Booking.com you’ll find reasonable places to stay. If you use the links above you’ll also get a discount of £25 and £15 respectively when you sign up or stay at your first hotel/property.

Here’s a quick guide to roughly what things cost me;

  • Fish and Chips – £10 (approximately 79DKK)
  • Water – FREE (The water is amazing here, don’t buy bottled)
  • Beer – £4 (It ranged from 35-60DKK)
  • Michelin-star meal – £200!! (It was 1400 just for the tasting menu)
  • Hotel Føroyar – £105 for one night (the only 4* hotel in the country)

Hiring a car was really easy here, I booked online before arriving and collected at Vágar airport – highly recommended if you are to get the most out of your trip. I’d strongly advise against doing expensive day trips, they cost at least £100 just to do a 6 hour tour and they really aren’t worth it.

How to get there

It’s surprisingly easy, from the UK there’s a direct flight from Edinburgh Airport and at just over an hour it’s easier than flying to London! The Faroese national carrier is Atlantic Airways, who offered us a really unique service of traditional food (to purchase) and a mix of non-alcoholic (free) and purchasable alcoholic drinks on board. Both of my flights arriving and departing were sadly not full but as interest in the Faroe Islands grow I definitely see this as being a popular route.

My flight cost £170 return which is definitely more expensive than a flight to Iceland but that’s simply due to competition, the only other way than a direct flight from Edinburgh would be to go to Copenhagen and then fly with either SAS or Atlantic Airways which will likely end up costing you more.

Atlantic Airways – the national carrier of the Faroe Islands

LGBT Travel to the Faroe Islands

Often when me and my partner travel together as a gay couple we pick and choose our accommodation very carefully, to avoid any aggro once we arrive. Thankfully the Faroe Islands recently outlawed discrimination against the LGBT community and travelling here I felt safe and welcomed. At a recent Pride event more than 5,000 people turned up, that’s more than 10% of the population!

I recently read a BBC News article about Faroese men outnumbering women, however sadly due to religion it’s unlikely that they would be gay – but due to the lack of available ladies they were looking further afield to countries like Thailand and the Philippines for a wife, I mean that’s a long way for romance!

Although there is no gay scene, as such, you’ll definitely find a small community, especially in the capital of Tórshavn. I’d recommend if you are a solo traveller contacting the LGBT Faroe Islands group on Facebook who can definitely tell you the best places to check out and if they know of any activities happening nearby.

The Faroe Islands is open to LGBT visitors, don’t be afraid to check this place out!

Further Information?

If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from this trip or any others please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.

All images copyrighted, if you wish to use any images produced in this blog article please contact me.

My 48 hour Staycation in Liverpool

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My heart sinks every time I say this, as the Great British Pound is at its lowest for over 30 years, now is the time for you to discover how amazing some of our UK towns and cities really are. Liverpool is a place with an incredible history and it’s even home to some world firsts and maritime gems.

7 Scouse Facts:

  • Place of the world’s first railway, Liverpool and Manchester Railway
  • Home to Europe’s oldest Chinese community
  • Liverpool was previously described as the “New York of Europe”
  • The city was the first in the UK to operate an airport from 1930
  • Home to the first lending-library, arts centre and theatre
  • James Street and Hamilton Square stations are the oldest deep level underground stations in the world
  • Apart from London, Liverpool is the most filmed city in the UK used as movie and TV sets to depict Moscow, New York and even Rome

Where should you visit?

Don’t expect spectacular sandy beaches or pristine sunshine weather, however what Liverpool does offer in bucketloads is culture and history. Before visiting I had no idea that the city is home to the most museums outside of London and thankfully most of them are free!

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Museum of Liverpool

This place has everything! A really well laid-out museum that features information about the Overhead Railway, Liverpool’s Chinese community, The Beatles and even about the products that used to be shipped in from all around the world.

I’d recommend that if you don’t know much about Liverpool’s past, this would be the best place to start. You’ll feel absorbed into its past but also be intrigued by what will happen in the future.

The world’s very first train, The Lion, is housed here. It was built in 1838 and was used on the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, an incredible achievement for the city.

Liverpool OverHead Railway poster

Sadly the Liverpool Overhead Railway no longer exists but these incredible posters are featured in the Museum of Liverppol

St Johns Beacon / Radio City Tower

This place is an absolute must-see whilst visiting the city! At only £5.50 (2016 prices) it is such a bargain and if you pick the right day you’ll see as far away as the Blackpool Tower and even North Wales. When I visited there was barely anyone there which I thought was rather sad given how sunny it was. At less than a quarter of the price to visit the Shard in London and with a much better view make sure you add it to your to do list.

Liverpool Cathedral

If you follow my blog you’ll know I’m not religious, however I do like visiting places like this and discovering the history. Liverpool’s Cathedral was completed in 1978, so it isn’t particularly old but it does look incredible sitting on top of St James’s Mount.

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Maritime Museum

I genuinely didn’t know that the Titanic was a “Liverpool ship”, nor did I realise I could discover all about it in Liverpool. This museum is smaller than the Museum of Liverpool but is well worth seeing as with most museums it is free!

Make sure you check out the International Slavery Museum too, it’s linked to the Maritime Museum and even though incredibly sad it’s also a fascinating look into our past and how slaves helped drive the fortunes of not only Liverpool but the UK as a whole.

Albert Docks

After the docks finally closed in 1972 most of the area fell into disrepair and was in urgent need of some TLC, thankfully in the early 1980’s the area was given a regeneration makeover and is now the most visited multi-attraction site in the UK, outside London.

I found the Albert Dock to be the perfect blend of old vs new with its well-maintained heritage but also striving forward with new buildings like the Museum of Liverpool. I only remember the Albert Dock from when I was little and the TV show This Morning used to be broadcast from here, well it has certainly changed since then.

Make sure you check out the cute historical vehicles that are now used by food vendors.

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Visit the homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Sadly I didn’t get the chance to visit either of them, but I thought I’d add it here for any Beatles fans amongst my readers.

Hidden Gems!

Often described as England’s finest Victorian city, Liverpool is home to more than 2,500 listed buildings and more Georgian houses than the city of Bath, isn’t it time you checked it out?

For me, Liverpool is home to a buzzing cafe culture and thankfully due to its history and multi-cultured society I was able to experience everything from Jamaican to Thai cuisines.

I really enjoyed trying the tasty sweet delights at East Avenue Bakehouse in the RopeWalks district and also trying out the amazing poached eggs at Cheese & Co. opposite the Queen Victoria Monument.

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Although not necessarily hidden, they are a gem. I love seeing all of the old vehicles that are now being used to serve street food and ice creams. A really nice touch.

Liverpool has to be one of, if not the most-friendly city I’ve visited in the UK. Ignore the pre-conceptions you hear, it is safe and very much welcoming to tourists.

Top tip: If you’re looking to buy property for investment in the UK, I’d strongly suggest Liverpool as this place is definitely on the up!

Liverpool LGBT scene

Don’t expect the gay scene hubs of London or Manchester, however you can encounter an intimate affair in the designated LGBT quarter. Stanley Street is where you’ll find bars including the Lisbon and the Curzon to name only a few places to visit.

With many other gay scenes in the UK slowly dying of death, Liverpool prides itself on being the first city in the UK to identify its LGBT quarter by installing rainbow street signs to highlight the area as gay-friendly.

Probably the most famous Liverpudlians in the world. The Beatles

Probably the most famous Liverpudlians in the world. The Beatles

Visit Liverpool for yourself

I highly recommend a visit, to book your stay go to Booking.com and search for Liverpool.

Click here using this link!

How to get here?

Liverpool is one of the easiest cities to visit in the UK, situated on the west coast of England it is ideally situated to arrive by air, rail, ferry or road.

Air: Liverpool John Lennon Airport is one of the fastest growing in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, thankfully there’s plenty of domestic and international connections, mostly from Eastern Europe.

Rail: Liverpool Lime Street is the main hub with regular trains from London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and North Wales.

Road: At the most Western point of the M62 (a.k.a the biggest parking lot after the M25) it’s really simple to drive to the ‘Pool.

Sea: The Port of Liverpool offers regular ferries to the Isle of Man and Dublin, you’ll also have access to a wide variety of exotic cruise destinations.

Further information?

If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from this trip or any others please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.

Travelling the world as an LGBT citizen

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Firstly let me start by saying that being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person (LGBT) is not a choice, it is something you are born as and contrary to some religious beliefs it cannot be cured. Love is love, no matter whether it’s between a man and a woman, two women or two men. Simple!

Sadly even in 2016 not everyone thinks the same and having travelled to some of the world’s most remote countries I can begrudgingly say that gay rights still have a long way to go.

Often seen as a “Western ideology”, being gay in some countries can get you imprisoned, fined or even horror of horror, killed. You might not realise it but there are still 7 countries in the world where adult consensual same-sex sexual conduct is illegal and punishable by death.

Whilst many condemn Russia for its rather open-opinion of LGBT relationships, you must remember that it isn’t in fact illegal there. My visit to Moscow several years ago certainly opened my eyes as to how much of a scene exists, albeit underground, but for me I was just relieved that it simply existed!

Whilst trawling the internet I found some interesting facts about being LGBT in different countries around the world:

  • 62 countries protect their LGBT citizens from discrimination
  • 118 countries have legalised adult consensual same-sex sexual conduct
  • 75 countries have made it a criminal offence for adults to have consensual same-sex sexual conduct
  • 7 countries including Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen can punish their citizens to death if found to have adult consensual same-sex sexual conduct

Just before I travel many of my friends say to me, “Do you feel safe, aren’t you scared or worried you’ll be targeted?”

Well, I think there are a lot of pre-conceptions about travelling to places that aren’t so friendly towards my community. Many are sadly correct but some amazingly couldn’t be further from the truth. For example when I visited Iran, I was incredibly relieved to discover LGBT life does exist and although Grindr and many other hook-up apps are banned, the joys of using a VPN can easily get you linked up to the local community. I’ve never had so much attention before, but I think it helps being fair and having blue eyes *cough* man-magnet!

I decide to visit these places based on the fact that many religious leaders state that no gay people actually exist in their countries. Well I’m sorry to crush that “statistic” but even in far-flung places like Turkmenistan, Iraq and Eritrea I have experienced gay life and local residents who are trying to make the most of their lives, even if their own government wishes to persecute them. I respect these people because it’s likely that they have no choice but to stay and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for them to try to live openly in a homophobic society.

When I arrive in a new country where I don’t know anyone, anybody could literally do anything to me. Maybe that’s part of the excitement, for me it is also part of the adventure and forms a part of my own personal development. Where would I be if I live my life the way I’m supposed to, right? By travelling to a country and meeting people; many of whom have never met a gay person before, I’m broadening their horizons and teaching them that I’m not one of their pre-conceived ideas, I am also simply just a human being like them.

I’m thankful to say I’ve never encountered any remorse or animosity towards me as a gay guy whilst travelling (that I’ve noticed), however I’m more than aware of some of the horror stories. I think the recent Orlando terrorist/hate attack proves that sadly nowhere in the world is safe anymore, but you can stand up to hatred and thankfully the most unlikely people have been standing side by side with the LGBT community in their grief.

Before you begin to think this post is an attack on the straight people of the word…believe me, it isn’t. However if you are straight, have you ever stopped to think what would happen if being straight wasn’t the “norm”, if you went to kiss your girlfriend/boyfriend but it was frowned upon in society, what would it feel like to fear being attacked? This is why gay pride parades around the world still exist.

After travelling the world my advice to anybody LGBT thinking of visiting a country that may not be best friends with us, simply plan your trip very carefully, read forums and blog posts regarding the latest news and updates and try to connect with the local community who will no doubt be incredibly pleased to see and welcome you.

If you’d like any advice on any of the countries I’ve visited and what LGBT scene (if any) exists, please message me via my Facebook page.

Love Wins.

Love is Love.

Be proud of who you are.

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Gay Moscow; From Russia with love, or is it?

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Russia is a source of curiosity for most people. With news reports of spies and a revival of Soviet-era attitudes, is it any wonder that for many travellers they are curious what the Russian Federation is actually like?

I was lucky enough to visit on business in February 2012, I had many preconceptions of what I thought the people would be like. I did learn some funny facts whilst travelling there, the one thing that always sticks in my mind is that when you smile at somebody on the street that you don’t know, they think you have some sort of mental disability. This was fun ammunition to play with…

The 'new' Moscow

The ‘new’ Moscow

So, if you’re an avid reader of my blog you’ll know that as a gay traveller I often like to visit the local scene where I’m visiting. Thankfully for me, I visited Russia just before they introduced a new anti-gay propaganda law took hold, I’m happy to say that although the scene I found was underground, it did exist.

One of the biggest clubs in Moscow called Central Station was completely full when I arrived. It was -10 degrees outside and I was completely frozen when I arrived, thankfully inside the club it was hot… and that was just the clientele!

Russia's version of Lady Gaga in Central Station, Moscow

Russia’s version of Lady Gaga in Central Station, Moscow

It was a relief that I was travelling with a colleague who was originally born in Ukraine but could speak fluent Russian came with me to the club. He advised me not to speak English upon entering as at the time due to all the attempted attacks by anti-gay groups the owners had become suspicious of anyone and everyone.

So I did as I was told and kept my mouth shut. Once inside the club, I saw many people wearing t-shirts with Union Jack flags which encouraged me to try speaking with a few people. They absolutely loved the fact someone other than a Russian was visiting the gay scene. I sadly didn’t discover if this was just because very few foreigners explore the scene or whether it was because those that do don’t speak to many locals.

I didn't understand what they were saying but the Russian drag queens were fun!

I didn’t understand what they were saying but the Russian drag queens were fun!

One thing I have to give the Russians credit for is that they know how to take their vodka! In the UK we normally drink vodka with a mixer. In Russia I was served it in a large shot glass, my mixer remained in the bottle until I’d downed the vodka! After just two shots I was quite literally hammered, I had a very embarrassing incident in the taxi on the way back to my hotel.

I had to get the taxi driver to stop in the middle of a highway so I could vomit, I’ve never been so ill from alcohol. It was quite shameful, I haven’t done that again since!

Unfortunately due to a string of attacks, shootings and assaults the club that I visited has now closed. This really is a shame, but sadly isn’t surprising.

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Many people complain about the cold, but I really enjoyed visiting Russia in winter. It makes it more ‘beautiful’, I say that loosely as Moscow is incredibly over-crowded and suffers hugely from pollution but is definitely worth visiting.

I was advised by several friends to make sure I used the Moscow Metro due to the fascinating facades, chandeliers and Soviet-era decorations. They were not wrong, it was incredible.

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Like in any big city, Moscow commuters tend to keep themselves to themselves and won’t even look at you, if they hear an English accent they will stare at you. This could either be intrigue or they’re wondering why you are using the Metro to travel in their city.

The distances between some stations are huge, you could spend all day just travelling on the Metro. It might not be modern but it certainly was fun.

Commuting on the Tube just hasn’t felt the same since.

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I try not to believe what I read in the press, although some things about Russia were true I did find some fantastic people who were open, honest and willing to discuss the current situation facing normal Russians. You also get to try the amazing food, my favourite was the Russian staple, borsch.

Although at the time when I visited Russia it wasn’t exactly a cheap destination, hotels in Moscow are some of the most expensive in the world. Thankfully at the moment due to the crash of Russian rouble this will make a visit to the country much less expensive.

Sadly though this doesn’t detract from the fact you will have to go through significant hoops to gain a visa, tourist or business!

Monument to the Conquerors of Space, Moscow

Monument to the Conquerors of Space, Moscow

Further Information

If you’d like to discover more photographs and information from this trip or any others please feel free to ask me any questions. You can visit my Facebook page and please don’t forget to ‘Like’ Travel Geek UK.