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Next one on the list was no other city than the current russia’s capital – the mighty Moscow. We arrived in Moscow via air on Rossiya Airlines. One hour flight from St. Petersburg proved to be uneventful. We were lucky to be picked up from the airport by my uncle, who proudly pulled up to the front entrance in his 2009 Hyundai SUV. We took a highway to get to his place. And my adult first impression of Moscow was nothing like imagined. Highways, cars, and big box stores on the outskirts of the city reminded me more of Denver suburbs than a lively European metropolis.
Next up on the schedule was one of my home – Russia, or as select few of my American born acquaintances like to refer as Mother Russia.
After an afternoon in the charming Helsinki, we took a Russian run ferry through more of the Baltic Sea into St. Petersburg (also known as Leningrad and Petrograd at one or the other point of its short history as the city).
Naturally, my first contact with the Russian culture came on the ferry.