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Bolshoi Travel Suggestions

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This is something that I just posted at BalletcoForum that could be helpful to anyone here.


I think that Raymonda’s advise above is very correct and very good. I always try to attend more than one performance just in case that the one that I wanted to see wasn’t what I thought it would be and there’s alway the chance of a delightful surprise in another.

 I’ve only been able to be in Moscow once, primarily to see the Bolshoi, and I liked it very much. I also took three Russian Aeroflot flights this year, for the first time, and found them to be very good with exceptionally nice personal everywhere.

 I do have to say, pay a little more attention to scams that you might normally. I’ve run into very few in my sixteen years of visiting St. Petersburg, but at the Moscow airport this year, a very official looking man with a printed card around his neck saying “Transportation Director” (or something like this) in english (but not a licence card) drove me around the airport, instead of taking the convenient tram which I was instructed to do, because he knew that I was late and then tried to get an exorbitant fee (which I only paid part of). If you’re in a situation where you don’t know what to do, try to get advise from the most responsible folks around and don’t let someone else, no matter how official looking, try to get you to do something else. I must say again that I’ve had almost no problems like this on any of my other visits to Russia. Folks often bend over backwards to help you.

 I stayed at the historic and lovely Hotel National in Moscow, which is expensive but well worth it. Ask for a quiet room, if this is important to you. I usually do. It might not have a view but it can also be the least expensive. It’s only a ten minute walk to the Bolshoi and there’s also a long and nice pedestrian street nearby for meals and hanging out, also only several minutes from the Bolshoi. The Hotel National also has a large ground level cafe, always open and reasonably priced, with a lovely view of the picturesque historic Kremlin just across the street. I’m sure that there are other fine hotels as well.

Edited by Buddy
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This is wonderfully helpful information. Sadly, for myself, I can't imagine doing any ballet-travel until there is a vaccine for Covid 19 or, perhaps, if a vaccine proves impossible, until the disease is much more under control and we have much better treatments for it.

Edited by Drew
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Thanks, Drew.

I certainly understand how you feel about traveling. I’ve very fortunately been healthy and secure in Palm Springs, California during all of this, but remain cautious like yourself. Yet, I do consider the possibility of going back to Russia sooner rather than later, but who knows ?

Innocent and very nice individuals there have been hit hard economically by the closing down because of the virus. I’m actually helping support one family there through this. I’m sure friendly outside faces would be really appreciated and very well cared for.

I’ve also discovered that I can get to Moscow from LA on a Russian Aeroflot plane in about 10 hours nonstop. The folks who work for it were exceptional pleasant and the several flights that I took with them this year were fine. I even got into LA from Moscow an hour early. Aeroflot also reduced fares to encourage tourism. I paid about $500 for a last minute oneway ticket back to LA from Moscow - very reasonable if you can even get a oneway ticket.

I’m seventy-seven and not getting any younger. I missed a lot of good ballet this trip. If a really attractive series of performances is announced I might give it some serious thought.

Edited by Buddy
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