St Basil's Cathedral Moscow

In June 2020 I reached the allocated Biblical age and we had been married for a half century. Said like that, I feel as if we have been married for a really long time.

City of Moscow

Anyway, we decided that these 2 milestones were worth a really special celebration, an unusual gift to ourselves. We had not been to Russia or any of the former USSR states but had met people who had done a cruise on the Russian Waterways from Moscow to St Petersburg we knew that it was definitely the one for us. For parts of our long holiday in 2018, for the first time, in all of our travels we engaged the knowledge and expertise of an excellent travel agent, in particular for visiting Australia and New Zealand and then for our trip to Central and South America. For the S America Trip, using an agent, proved to be an excellent decision because the fast-spreading Corona Virus caused us to have to change flights at very short notice. But I have diverted from the reason for this blog.

The idea of visiting Russia became really exciting in our minds. We started to do some research. We always do this prior to going on a holiday so that we can give some thought to what we would like or not like to do. According to the itinerary we would be spending 3 days in each of Moscow and St Petersburg and wanted to have a clear idea of what we would or would not like to do when we got there.

In the meantime, we planned a trip to visit our daughter in Panama followed by a 14-night cruise around South America. This trip would fulfil some of my long-held bucket-list items, especially seeing the statue of Christ, the King in Rio de Janeiro. All went as planned from the time we left Durban in med-February 2020 until 2/3 of our way through the cruise when we learnt that, due to Covid-19, countries were closing borders and flights being recalled and that our ship had to end the cruise at Buenos Aires instead of Rio de Janeiro meaning no statue sighting!

It resulted in 2 situations. First, we needed to change our flights to return home as soon as possible and the cancelling of our trip on the Russian Waterways. Who would have thought that the pandemic would continue for many, many months?! The trip’s organisers offered the persons booked on the cruise a partial refund or a credit valid for 2 years which we chose. We couldn’t book for 2021 but are currently booked for the trip in June 2022. Hopefully we will be able to “Goodbye, Covid-19.”

St Petersburg