English| $ USD
Our trip was really great. The Russian tour was sometimes "too much information". Especially in the Moscow area. The visit to Red Square was restricted by a massive stage structure erected for a choral performance by a very large choir. I enjoyed the singing although unable to understand Russian, but some of our group were upset that the viewing of St Basil's Cathedral was blocked off. The Kremlin visit was very good and it was great to see the gardens in full bloom. The sights we were taken to and the food we were provided with were excellent. MS Rostropovich was very good but sadly we missed Uglich due to a dense fog which halted all river traffic for safety reasons. The entertainment on board was very good. I especially enjoyed the Vodka tasting! The local guides did a splendid job wherever we landed. I think the highlight of all these was visiting the farmhouse at Kizhi. The wooden cathedral was under repair so we could not enter the site, but we could walk around it and appreciate the skills of the original builders. The Saint Petersburg tour was excellent with plenty of different destinations. It was good to mingle with Russian people in the beautiful parks and gardens. We did the "Feeling Russian" show. It was great and should be built in to the tour. Having missed the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, I was finally persuaded by Jacqui to go to the ballet in St Petersburg and we saw Swan Lake. I became an instant ballet enthusiast! If anything in the Russian tour could be further improved, it would be my preference to add a visit to the ordinary people in their homes along the river and to abbreviate the detailed discourses of long dead Russian royal families. We filled our two days in Denmark before the Firebird tour very well, touring by rail to other destinations. Both Jacqui & I found the walking tour of Copenhagen a real challenge so at the conclusion, we were happy to ride back to the city by the suburban bus. The city is easy to get around once you become a bit familiar with it. We found some good cafes and restaurants near our hotel where we could take short or long breaks when needed. The tour of Norway was very spectacular. We really enjoyed the rail trip from Oslo to Flam, the ferry trip to Bergen and Bergen itself. Transfer to Sweden and the tours there were no problem. We were fully occupied with Firebird and our own trips. The ferry trip across to Finland was satisfactory and the tour guide around Helsinki was excellent. With our holiday completed, the transfer to the airport was good and travel on Aeroflot to Moscow and then Hong Kong efficiently done. We knew little of Aeroflot before this trip and even regarded the airline as second rate. Not so, we were treated very well at all times and would use Aeroflot again. Both Jacqui & I were very impressed with your efforts and are happy to assure you that we had a great trip.
Published, Nov 04, 2015