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PurrSuede

Been there, done that?

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Filed: Timeline

Well it looks like I'll be making some travel plans to return to Russia in November to meet this wonderful woman I've been corresponding with. The thing is, she only has a week of time off, which is ok for a first meeting trip, I think.

I have been to her home town before and we talked about it, and she felt since I'd visited there before, she wanted to go elsewhere. They do love their vacations. If things work out I can always return to her home town later to meet her family but I have been in their city before several times.

This is only in the planning stages right now, but even early to mid-November can certainly be the beginning of the Russian winter.

So I know several of you guys (and girls) have gone other places within Russia. I'm thinking with only a month to go, and for a first meeting we probably don't want to fly off to Paris or someplace...

So do you have any ideas for a nice weeklong vacation within Russia, or nearby countries that won't be a huge Visa problem like the European countries might be for her?

I haven't seen St. Petersburg yet, so one possibility was to meet her in Moscow and stay there for a day or two, then travel up to that city, to visit and explore, but as I mentioned, this time of year could be cold, at the beginning of winter...

Any other ideas from you guys and gals, that have been over there and explored or excursioned a bit??

Thanks in advance for any and all intelligent suggestions...

-- Dan

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

I have to agree with bruc. They definitely like going to the sea. Why check out the climate right now in the black sea. Somewhere in the Ukraine might even be interesting. Just checked the weather in Odessa and it's in the low 70's. They can also go to Costa Rica without a visa but thats a long trip for her. And it's only the first meeting. BTW St. Petersburg rocks. I was there for their 300th birthday. WHAT A PARTY !!!!


16/10/2006- Interview date- I'm nervous and my fiance is cool calm and collective. And she's the one that has to do the interview.

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Filed: Timeline
Good Luck....Moscow is an awsome city with plenty of excursions in it's on right.

Have fun, rent an apartment.

The girls really like to go to the warmer climates on a rest...I have a friend in Turkey with his girl this upcoming week.

bruc

Bruc:

Good idea, and I have spent time in Moscow before, I could easily spend another week there.

And yes, the ladies do like warmer climates, to go on a "rest"... and I know Turkey and Egypt are popular choices with the Russian tourist, but as an American, with an American passport, I may consider staying out of the Middle-eastern countries with the current political climate, although I know Turkey and Egypt are among the safest choices... you still have to be quite careful...

Thanks for the reply!

-- Dan

I have to agree with bruc. They definitely like going to the sea. Why check out the climate right now in the black sea. Somewhere in the Ukraine might even be interesting. Just checked the weather in Odessa and it's in the low 70's. They can also go to Costa Rica without a visa but thats a long trip for her. And it's only the first meeting. BTW St. Petersburg rocks. I was there for their 300th birthday. WHAT A PARTY !!!!

I was thinking of the Russian/Ukranian resorts by the sea?? Someone mentioned Sochi in passing, has anyone "been there, done that"?

I'd also love to see St. Petersburg, and (go figure!) she's a teacher of History in the Russian school system so it might be a fascinating "field trip" for her as well if she's never been... I know I've never been there.

And yes, this is just our first meeting... I'm looking forward to it, of course, although this will be my 6th trip to Russia... I can't wait to meet Tatyana in person

BIG :)

-- Dan

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

I would very much suggest to visit St.Petersburg! Such a beautiful and romantic city! We had a great assistant there named Tatiana, who helped us with finding nice place to stay and showed us the city. But November... You are probably right, it can be cold there. I am not sure what the weather is in St.Petersburg in November. But even if not now you can have in mind this city for the future. It is really really great there.

I liked Czech Republic and Cyprus too. It seems to be warm in Cyprus even in November. It is easy for russians to get visas to these countries. It is usually much cheaper.

Russians don't need the visa to a number of countries like Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica. Nice places for a romantic meeting :-)

It is also possible to buy tours in Russia to some countries. Can be much less expensive. Your lady can help you with this.

I wish you a great meeting!

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St. Petersburg would probably be best. Even if it's cold, it's not going to be "freezing" cold (by her standards.... it'll probably be F^@#!ng cold to you!) to the point where you can't enjoy it. Remember, it is home of the "winter" palace.

Turkey and Egypt are not unsafe places to go. The Middle East as a whole gets a bad rap because of what you see on Fox News. Truth is, you're a helluva lot safer there than you are in New York City. And, the two of you could have a wonderful holiday for a great price. (Have her book tickets for both of you through a Russian tourist company, meet in Moscow, then fly there and back together, maybe taking a day or two in Moscow to see the sights.) Don't let the "threat" of a VERY random terrorist act deter you from enjoying an awesome time with your new lady for a low price.


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St. Petersburg would probably be best. Even if it's cold, it's not going to be "freezing" cold (by her standards.... it'll probably be F^@#!ng cold to you!) to the point where you can't enjoy it. Remember, it is home of the "winter" palace.

Turkey and Egypt are not unsafe places to go. The Middle East as a whole gets a bad rap because of what you see on Fox News. Truth is, you're a helluva lot safer there than you are in New York City. And, the two of you could have a wonderful holiday for a great price. (Have her book tickets for both of you through a Russian tourist company, meet in Moscow, then fly there and back together, maybe taking a day or two in Moscow to see the sights.) Don't let the "threat" of a VERY random terrorist act deter you from enjoying an awesome time with your new lady for a low price.

Even though I live in the SW, I grew up in Chicago. So I do know what cold is...

One of the times I went to Yoshkar-Ola, about 800 km from Moscow, when I arrived there it was -40 below.

It doesn't matter if that's -40 F or -40 C since at that temperature, -40, the two scales are the same.

Now ~that~ was cold...

I'll keep that in mind about Turkey and the other suggestions. Though I am really intrigued to see St. Petersburg...

I've spent time in Moscow before, of course, but the purpose is to see the sights and spend time -together-.. and I'm also suggesting to her that if things go well, we can go somewhere really special and wonderful for our SECOND meeting, if we decide we want to pursue a life together.

I also want to see a bit how she reacts to my saying: "let's just hang around Russia and not spend a fortune since we only have a week for our first meeting" and then if things go well "let's have a wonderful second meeting someplace special when we both have more time..."

You know what I'm saying here Slim....

-- Dan

I would very much suggest to visit St.Petersburg! Such a beautiful and romantic city! We had a great assistant there named Tatiana, who helped us with finding nice place to stay and showed us the city. But November... You are probably right, it can be cold there. I am not sure what the weather is in St.Petersburg in November. But even if not now you can have in mind this city for the future. It is really really great there.

I liked Czech Republic and Cyprus too. It seems to be warm in Cyprus even in November. It is easy for russians to get visas to these countries. It is usually much cheaper.

Russians don't need the visa to a number of countries like Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica. Nice places for a romantic meeting :-)

It is also possible to buy tours in Russia to some countries. Can be much less expensive. Your lady can help you with this.

I wish you a great meeting!

Thank you very much. As I said, we only have a single week and it will be soon so we have to make our plans quickly. I can understand that she wants to go somewhere away from her home town, but I also want us to focus on spending TIME together for our first meeting, not on spending MONEY together.

I've proposed to her that we spend our first meeting together in places in Russia. And if we agree, and things go very well for us to go somewhere wonderful (and warm and exotic and ...) for our 2nd meeting. I also want to see how she reacts to this.

But the fact is, if we care about each other from this first meeting and want to be together again, we can schedule a lot longer time together than a single week.

I certainly don't mind feedback from you guys and gals, cuz I know you've been there and done that (too!)

But of course, she has a 16-hr train ride (each way) before she even gets to Moscow and on her return, as I do with the international flights, so a lot of that week would get eaten up by travel time, already!

I'm thinking don't go overboard on first meeting, see how we "click" and then if things are a-ok make the second meeting a longer time in a more exotic locale.

-- Dan

Edited by PurrSuede

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Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline
I haven't seen St. Petersburg yet, so one possibility was to meet her in Moscow and stay there for a day or two, then travel up to that city, to visit and explore, but as I mentioned, this time of year could be cold, at the beginning of winter...

Dan,

I think your idea of spending some time with her in St. Petersburg is great. A large part of the tourist area there is centralized, allowing you more quality time and convenience. There are many apartments and B&B’s to choose from. And you can get a discounted rate for the time of year. It will be cold and windy, so prepare accordingly. Also, the drivers there are not as sophisticated as they are in Moscow, so always watch your step near the streets. You should make it a point to see Peterhof. It is very nice, even in November. And I know she will appreciate you for it.

For traveling within Russia when you are on a time constraint, flying may be your best option. She should be able to get very reasonably priced airfare. Maybe you should have her check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Why not meet her in St. Petersburg rather than in Moscow? It will spare you time and convenience. However, if you meet in Moscow and later travel to St. Petersburg, then consider taking the Express (much faster) or go first class (a private cabin).


from Andrew

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Filed: Timeline

I haven't seen St. Petersburg yet, so one possibility was to meet her in Moscow and stay there for a day or two, then travel up to that city, to visit and explore, but as I mentioned, this time of year could be cold, at the beginning of winter...

Dan,

I think your idea of spending some time with her in St. Petersburg is great. A large part of the tourist area there is centralized, allowing you more quality time and convenience. There are many apartments and B&B’s to choose from. And you can get a discounted rate for the time of year. It will be cold and windy, so prepare accordingly. Also, the drivers there are not as sophisticated as they are in Moscow, so always watch your step near the streets. You should make it a point to see Peterhof. It is very nice, even in November. And I know she will appreciate you for it.

For traveling within Russia when you are on a time constraint, flying may be your best option. She should be able to get very reasonably priced airfare. Maybe you should have her check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Why not meet her in St. Petersburg rather than in Moscow? It will spare you time and convenience. However, if you meet in Moscow and later travel to St. Petersburg, then consider taking the Express (much faster) or go first class (a private cabin).

Well I appreciate all the ideas... but she seems convinced that the Czech Republic is a good place for a first meeting. And I'm not so huge on spending a lot of extra money to meet her outside of Russia... for a FIRST meeting...

She's not fond of "rented apartments" as she thinks hotels are safer. Even if I rented a two-bedroom apt. Mind you this IS our first meeting. And she thinks St. Petersburg would be much better in the summer than the winter. Which I agree, but the purpose was to ~meet~ over a short trip...

And she thinks Muscovites are rude and doesn't want to spend time there...

I'm getting more and more frustrated, she really doesn't seem too interested in listening to my ideas... so we will see what happens...

Thanks for the suggestions though, everyone...

-- Dan

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
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I haven't seen St. Petersburg yet, so one possibility was to meet her in Moscow and stay there for a day or two, then travel up to that city, to visit and explore, but as I mentioned, this time of year could be cold, at the beginning of winter...

Dan,

I think your idea of spending some time with her in St. Petersburg is great. A large part of the tourist area there is centralized, allowing you more quality time and convenience. There are many apartments and B&B’s to choose from. And you can get a discounted rate for the time of year. It will be cold and windy, so prepare accordingly. Also, the drivers there are not as sophisticated as they are in Moscow, so always watch your step near the streets. You should make it a point to see Peterhof. It is very nice, even in November. And I know she will appreciate you for it.

For traveling within Russia when you are on a time constraint, flying may be your best option. She should be able to get very reasonably priced airfare. Maybe you should have her check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Why not meet her in St. Petersburg rather than in Moscow? It will spare you time and convenience. However, if you meet in Moscow and later travel to St. Petersburg, then consider taking the Express (much faster) or go first class (a private cabin).

Well I appreciate all the ideas... but she seems convinced that the Czech Republic is a good place for a first meeting. And I'm not so huge on spending a lot of extra money to meet her outside of Russia... for a FIRST meeting...

She's not fond of "rented apartments" as she thinks hotels are safer. Even if I rented a two-bedroom apt. Mind you this IS our first meeting. And she thinks St. Petersburg would be much better in the summer than the winter. Which I agree, but the purpose was to ~meet~ over a short trip...

And she thinks Muscovites are rude and doesn't want to spend time there...

I'm getting more and more frustrated, she really doesn't seem too interested in listening to my ideas... so we will see what happens...

Thanks for the suggestions though, everyone...

-- Dan

Do what you want to do... it is your vacation too. And you haven't even met this woman. If she can't deal with that... big red flag, don't you think?

You should suggest that you both forget the idea of travelling and say that you are interested only in meeting in her hometown despite everything. See what kind of reaction you get. I also think it is a little 'dangarous' to meet someone you don't know in a place you do not know and being commited to staying together. You could meet at the airport and just not feel anything, then you are stuck for the entire vacation together. I think you should go back to the 'been there done that' place.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

I haven't seen St. Petersburg yet, so one possibility was to meet her in Moscow and stay there for a day or two, then travel up to that city, to visit and explore, but as I mentioned, this time of year could be cold, at the beginning of winter...

Dan,

I think your idea of spending some time with her in St. Petersburg is great. A large part of the tourist area there is centralized, allowing you more quality time and convenience. There are many apartments and B&B’s to choose from. And you can get a discounted rate for the time of year. It will be cold and windy, so prepare accordingly. Also, the drivers there are not as sophisticated as they are in Moscow, so always watch your step near the streets. You should make it a point to see Peterhof. It is very nice, even in November. And I know she will appreciate you for it.

For traveling within Russia when you are on a time constraint, flying may be your best option. She should be able to get very reasonably priced airfare. Maybe you should have her check it out. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Why not meet her in St. Petersburg rather than in Moscow? It will spare you time and convenience. However, if you meet in Moscow and later travel to St. Petersburg, then consider taking the Express (much faster) or go first class (a private cabin).

Well I appreciate all the ideas... but she seems convinced that the Czech Republic is a good place for a first meeting. And I'm not so huge on spending a lot of extra money to meet her outside of Russia... for a FIRST meeting...

She's not fond of "rented apartments" as she thinks hotels are safer. Even if I rented a two-bedroom apt. Mind you this IS our first meeting. And she thinks St. Petersburg would be much better in the summer than the winter. Which I agree, but the purpose was to ~meet~ over a short trip...

And she thinks Muscovites are rude and doesn't want to spend time there...

I'm getting more and more frustrated, she really doesn't seem too interested in listening to my ideas... so we will see what happens...

Thanks for the suggestions though, everyone...

-- Dan

Hey Dan. These are what I call red flags. It's the first meeting. It shouldn't matter where you meet. It's about you two not about the vacation so to speak. Remember your past experiences to guide you through your future. Good luck on your decision


16/10/2006- Interview date- I'm nervous and my fiance is cool calm and collective. And she's the one that has to do the interview.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Russia
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Hey Dan. These are what I call red flags. It's the first meeting. It shouldn't matter where you meet. It's about you two not about the vacation so to speak. Remember your past experiences to guide you through your future. Good luck on your decision

I agree - just looking out for you.

But my vote is an apartment in St Petersburg!!

I can direct you to 2 2 bedroom ones with Jacuzzi and Sauna(banya)!

Also if you want a great tour guide $10 she is great. Know everything about the hermitage!

Also A great driver!! $10 and hour.

If you decide to go and it doesn't work out in the first couple of days - there is PLENTY to see there!


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Russian Meeting Place

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Do what you want to do... it is your vacation too. And you haven't even met this woman. If she can't deal with that... big red flag, don't you think?

You should suggest that you both forget the idea of travelling and say that you are interested only in meeting in her hometown despite everything. See what kind of reaction you get. I also think it is a little 'dangarous' to meet someone you don't know in a place you do not know and being commited to staying together. You could meet at the airport and just not feel anything, then you are stuck for the entire vacation together. I think you should go back to the 'been there done that' place.

Yes, I'm seeing more red-flags here than used to fly over the Kremlin during the May-Day Celebration...

I don't think she's "scamming", but I'm seeing a lot of things I just don't like.

Some of it may be the agency, some of it may just be that she's "spoiled" and wants a nice vacation out of her home city. Under some circumstances that might be ok, but I don't think this is one of them.

I discussed some of my ideas with her this weekend. As I said, she seems set on what she wants. Didn't even take my ideas into consideration.

It's decision time, very shortly, but sometimes you just have to "cut and run" instead of "stay the course" if you can see that staying the course is only gonna lead you down the wrong path.

Ok, I didn't mean to quote from current political situations, but you guys who've been there, done that too, know what I'm talking about...

-- Dan

Hey Dan. These are what I call red flags. It's the first meeting. It shouldn't matter where you meet. It's about you two not about the vacation so to speak. Remember your past experiences to guide you through your future. Good luck on your decision

As I told Chuckles... heh... about them red flags....

Yep, I even told her, this is first meeting. If we meet and enjoy each other and want to be together again, then we can take a second trip to a more exotic locale. Keep the first meeting easy and simple and see what happens.

But, Nyet! No change in her Russian mind from what she started with.

And I am remembering my past experiences... including an ex-wife that also found it extremely difficult to alter her point of view... or see someone else's (heh - MINE!) ideas...

But again, guys, thanks for the responses and ideas... they really are reinforcing a lot of the things I really believe in...

A discussion about our "first meeting" shouldn't become a prolonged argument about why we have to leave Russia for Europe for a week, and why none of my ideas mesh with hers...

The entire event should be something joyful and celebratory, bringing us together, and not a royal P.I.T.A...

-- Dan

Hey Dan. These are what I call red flags. It's the first meeting. It shouldn't matter where you meet. It's about you two not about the vacation so to speak. Remember your past experiences to guide you through your future. Good luck on your decision

I agree - just looking out for you.

But my vote is an apartment in St Petersburg!!

I can direct you to 2 2 bedroom ones with Jacuzzi and Sauna(banya)!

Also if you want a great tour guide $10 she is great. Know everything about the hermitage!

Also A great driver!! $10 and hour.

If you decide to go and it doesn't work out in the first couple of days - there is PLENTY to see there!

I will definitely keep that in mind, John. Who knows, I might wind up going up there anyway, but it looks more and more likely it won't be with THIS woman... Thanks for your thoughts!

-- Dan

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline
The entire event should be something joyful and celebratory, bringing us together, and not a royal P.I.T.A...
How about splitting the costs of this royal vacation 50/50? See what she says to that? Why should you pay for it all? When I met my fiancee I stayed in her home with her family on both trips. Free and simple. No extravagant requests, although we did go see Sochi on my initiative after half way into our first 9 week meeting in Russia.

To me it sounds like this lady wants to use a "desperate American" who hasn't gotten any in a while for a free trip to Europe. Bravo if she succeeds. It is just one of many reasons for using an agency for both Americans and Russians. Mutual benefit, not a scam. If she can pull of the trip and avoid sleeping with the fellow, it is an even bigger victory.

Sorry, Dan, can't say I have been there done that in terms of agencies. We met randomly on ICQ.

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