My day in Moscow started out quite early when I arrived from Amsterdam at 2:00am at Sheremetyevo International Airport. My flight was delayed by about 30 minutes thanks to runway delays in Amsterdam. I flew on a KLM plane and it was ancient, no drop down TV screens for safety videos, the flight attendant actually had a example seat belt and was showing how to use that, I haven’t encountered that since the mid-90s. We got a slice of pizza and several beverages on that 3 hour flight. No wi-fi, no entertainment at all, not even the lame armrests with radio options on them. It was a very boring flight and impossible to sleep since I had an aisle seat.
After landing I had to go through passport control. Since I landed in the middle of the night when the airport is pretty dead, the whole process went pretty fast, about 10 minutes of waiting in line and then about 3 minutes to get my passport stamped, visa info typed in and get my piece of paper I have to keep with me until I leave the country. Then after that it was off to the baggage claim area. I was a bit concerned about actually getting my luggage as it was checked straight through from Boise and it spent many hours in Amsterdam, but after waiting for about 10 minutes it finally popped up and started making its rounds. From there, it was on through the customs check, they didn’t actually search anyone’s bags, but it appeared everyone with a foreign visa, all 10 or so of us on that flight, got pulled aside and had the dogs come up and sniff all the bags, everyone passed the dogs’ nose test and then it was onward to find my driver. The hospital driver was pretty easy to find as he was holding a lime green sign with my name on it, lime green for the win, yeah! The hospital also sent a gentleman along with him to help translate and he was awesome. The driver was so helpful and immediately grabbed my suitcase and started rolling it out to the vehicle, then proceeded to put the rest of my luggage in the back of the SUV. From there it was about an hour drive to the Vega motel where I stayed for the remainder of the night. The 2 guys loaded my luggage onto a cart and took it in the Vega Motel for me and helped get my room reservation figured out, then off they went to go pick up another gal who was arriving around 5:00am.
The Best Western Vega Motel isn’t too bad. I’ve seen some people in the past complain about the rooms, but I got the cheapest one possible when I booked and it was far nicer than many I’ve stayed at in the US. Checkout time was supposed to be noon according to my room info packet I got when checking in, but I got booted out at 11. But it was a place to stay for a few hours and get a little bit of sleep. Here are some pics of the room I stayed in at the Vega and it’s view.
I got booted out of my room at around 11:00am, when checkout wasn’t supposed to be until 12:00pm, but such is life. I went down to the lobby and found someone to help me figure out how to operate the ATM, since it is all in Russian and doesn’t give you any English options until after you swipe your card and even then it’s a bit tricky, but I got some money switched to Rubles, so all is good. Then had the gal at the desk order me a taxi to get to the hospital. I said I wanted to be picked up at 12:30, but the gal apparently didn’t understand me so she ordered it for right away, so I went to the hospital and got there a little before noon. And now on to part II!!!