Monday, June 08, 2009

Trippin' on Back to Russia

Last Thursday I caught the 10:40 a.m. flight out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport through Atlanta and then on to Moscow. Care to have a look behind the scenes?

(Click photos to enlarge.) Dear Gail, left, and her husband Robert (behind camera) dropped me off around 8:45. What a blessing to overnight at their place which is between my hosts' home in Garland on the east and DFW on the west of Dallas. Makes lots of sense to anybody familiar with early morning traffic on LBJ.

Got to admit that I missed lots of interesting shots on The Big Trip. The thing is, photography falls into 2nd place priority sometimes. Priority one was ~ just trying to keep it all together!

Here's my second-favorite scene at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The most touching scene is the dozens of military folks being deployed out of Atlanta. That tugs at my heartstrings in a personal sort of way ~ so much so that I haven't found it in me to ask for a photograph. But above is my second-favorite. Got a whole slew of photos of these Buyer Beware displays, complete with athletic shoes made from sting-ray skin, for instance. But that's a whole 'nother blog topic complete with lots of photos.

The Delta flight Atlanta to Moscow departs is scheduled to depart at 4:15 p.m. Sunset happens soon because we're flying into the night. Thanks to the child prodigy sitting next to me, we have this photo. Elijah was his name. And he noticed earlier when we left the east coast of the US. Above we're probably over Newfoundland. Atlanta to Moscow is 10 hours. On these long flights, I like to wear a 2nd watch, a runner's watch with chronograph to show how far we are into the flight. Somebody's gotta keep track of the time, right? ;)

Prior to landing in Moscow, we were advised about swine flu precautions. Before deplaning, each traveller would need to complete a document about our health and such - including how many piglets we had kissed recently (wink, wink) - and get our temperatures taken. I was dreading the idea of all of us sitting there with thermometers poking out of our mouths.

Not to worry though, airport officials made it oh-so-simple. The gentleman heading this way down the aisle is bearing a special temperature-sensing devise. He just pointed it at each person's face and instantly pronounced approved or nyet. Seemed as though we all passed.

Here he is in action, the thermometer fellow. He was actually quite pleasant and professional. Which helped since after 10 hours of being cooped up together, deplaning was sounding so good.

Then later after clearing passport control, getting through customs, changing some $ to rubles, going to the internet cafe and the Aeroflot office to make a decision about my connecting flight to Rostov, I happened upon the best scene: This is so very Russian.

Here's the baggage-wrapping station at Sheremetevo airport, Moscow's premier international airport. This wrap is thought to discourage people from tampering with baggage. It slows them down anyway.

Cutting a slit in for the handle. This guy knows what he's doing.

Out of the airport. En route to Vnykova airport, southeast part of town. Past the Ashan and IKEA complex.

Barricades on the outskirts of Moscow in the spot where Nazi forces were stopped in their tracks.

Traffic was slow. Fortunately my taxi driver know some alternate routes from Sheremetevo airport in northwest Moscow to Vnykova in the southeast. I left the driving to him. All for like $125. There has to be a better way. . .

Eventually on Aeroflot-Don headed south to Rostov-on-Don. Here's the view out the west window, courtesy of the folks sitting over across the aisle.

Oh, and here is a prize. I wasn't prepared for this view. Dug around fast and furious for the camera and handed it to young lady seated near the window. Next time I'll want to ask for that seat, myself. Beyond the river, the Russian Orthodox church with gold cupolas is visible toward the right.

Sailing right along we have Rostov's Theatre Square. Gorky Theatre is the large white building just left of center. This side of the theatre is Stella, the obelisk taller than Lady Liberty. Oh this sight does my heart good. How I love Rostov-on-Don and the opportunity to return here and serve.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Eileen, Glad you made it back & didn't get stopped for swine flu impersonation! I'm off to Hungary this weekend & then the US on Tues for a couple of weeks. Promises to be fun! Catch up with you soon. Tammy