Back in the U.S.S.R.

While searching for tickets to Andorra, the starting point of my tour, I realized a couple of things:  a) there is no airport or train station in Andorra, so I have to fly to Barcelona and then take a bus, b) the cheapest option to get from NYC to Barcelona includes layover in Moscow. Considering I haven’t been back there for a while I decided to extend the layover by a couple of weeks to see my family and friends.

My motherland met me with rain but I was quickly whisked away to a nearby datcha with a hot banya and plenty of vodka to warm and cheer me up.

I still have a few friends in Moscow, so I stayed warm and cheery for a while. Hence, I only managed to do a short lap around the city center, finishing in Red Square.

I paid a visit to my alma mater, the Moscow State Circus School, where a new class of students was performing their graduating show. Little has changed since my time, apart from the fact that a few people who were once students now are teachers. I also couldn’t miss the opportunity to see a show at the Nikulin Circus and chat with old friends – or the other way around.

I spent a few quiet mornings with my mom filling her in on the details of my journey, dissipating her fears over a trip she disapproves because “it’s dangerous out there”. Now she knows how to follow my progress online. Hopefully, it will bring her peace of mind.

Two weeks flew by in the wink of an eye. It was fun, but near the end my mind was already far away, ready to pedal across Europe.

So long, mother, motherland, alma mater!