- Posted February 25, 2014 by
New York, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your child's travel firsts
Zander in Moscow
In September 2013, my wife and I decided to take our children Alexander and Isabella to Moscow. Our friends and family were puzzled. Why Moscow? Rather than take our kids who were 5 and 3 at the time on a 10 hour flight to Russia, why not take the kids to a nice resort in the Caribbean instead? It was an interesting question. One reason was that my wife and I had both travelled extensively and enjoyed learning about different cultures. We wanted to instill this love of learning in our kids, particularly my son who was starting kindergarten. What better place to instill this love of learning and adventure than the land that produced such diverse personalities as Peter the Great, Catherine, and Stalin? The 3 weeks before departure was filled with trepidation. We had read on the internet how difficult it was to get a Russian travel visa. Not being able to speak or read Russian, we were also concerned about how we would navigate the streets of Moscow and how receptive the Russian people would be. We need not have worried. The visa process went without a hitch and we quickly realized upon arriving in Moscow that many Russians, particularly younger Russians, speak fluent English. We were also surprised by how courteous the Russian people were. I cannot count the number of times that Russians offer their seat to my wife and kids on the subway (almost every subway ride). Our kids had a great time. When we asked Zander what he enjoyed most about Moscow, he said he liked playing with Russian kids (we had dinner with a friend of mine and her family in Moscow). When I asked my daughter what she liked the most, she said "Kremlin." Here is a picture of my son and daughter standing in front of St Basil Cathedral near the Kremlin walls.
[In terms of lessons learnt, we realized that IPADs and umbrella strollers, in addition to books and crayons, can be life savers.]