The Russians make it damn difficult to get into the country and stay here within regulation. Of the eight countries I’m going to on this trip, Russia is the only country that required an advanced visa. The application was, ahem, very through and the application fee was expense. Luckily, proper preparation bore fruit and we sailed smoothly through customs once we landed in St Petersburg.
The restrictions don’t end there. The Russian government requires you to register in every city you are visiting for more than six days. Monday morning we walked to the post office to complete the process. Natasha, a local Rotarian, helped guide us through. We brought everything we needed and were prepared to move quickly until we read the instructions and discovered that the entire form had to be completed in Russian. Oof. So much for a quick errand!
Nate translated the top of the form for me, it reads: Notice of Arrival of a Foreign Citizen. Subtle, Russia, really subtle. You want to know all about me and I guess I don’t have much choice but to tell you.