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Solo female travelers to Moscow and St. Petersburg

Solo female travelers to Moscow and St. Petersburg

Old Jun 18th, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #1  
Jennifer
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Solo female travelers to Moscow and St. Petersburg

For women who have traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg on your own, do you go out in the evenings by yourselves? Since I'm completely unfamiliar with either city, this doesn't sound like a safe thing for me to do, but I'm curious to know if others have found other travelers and then go out together or if you hire or ask a private tour guide to accompany you. Activities that I have in mind are dining in restaurants or seeing a film or a concert or just wandering around taking in the sites at night.<BR><BR>Any experiences will be greatly appreciated!<BR><BR>Jennifer
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 03:20 AM
  #2  
Pearl
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Last summer in broad daylight along with a group of friends, my friend had her pocketbook stolen on the StP subway.<BR>One evening in Moscow at the Circus, an elderly woman who was with her husband had her fanny pack cut off her waist and stolen. In it were their visas, passports, money, credit cards, and airplane tickets back home to the States. Another woman had her tote bag cut from her arm. My husband at Red Square in the middle of a glorious summer day was approached by a 10-year old pickpocket whose accomplices were standing a few feet away. While shopping at an outdoor vendor area in Kostroma, we saw an adult man picketpocket a shopper. And YOU WANT TO ROAM AROUND AT NIGHT ON YOUR OWN?????? I wouldn't do that in ANY city ANYWHERE in the world!
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 04:30 AM
  #3  
Olga
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Jen, I've lived in Russia for many years, and I would not recommend strolling all alone in Moscow or St. Petersburg, as perhaps everywhere in Russia. Its a third-world country with beautiful buildings. If you're robbed or physically attacked, then you're on your own - russian law inforcement officers haven't been paid in months! Would they care to help you? I don't think so.
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 04:38 AM
  #4  
Marty
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Jennifer: Last summer I traveled around Moscow with 3 Russian women. They were very, very cautious. It was not just for our sakes, but it was their way of life. They, too, said that things are too unsettled to risk any dangers whatsoever. They were particularly cautious of street rallies of any kind and of being out in the city after dark.<BR>They were lifelong residents of Moscow, so I heeded their every warning.
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 08:35 AM
  #5  
lili
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just back from russia - we were with family and didn't have problems in moscow or st. pete's, but we were cautious and i was rarely by myself - i carried important docs either in tight jean pockets (ya know, the little upfront pocket for cash/traveler's checkes) and had a small backpack where the zippers were hidden by a flap on a latch - crossing the street on the next to last day in st pete's i felt something at my back, a guy looked at me and my friend said the latch was undone and the zipper half way down - this was mid day in a packed street of pedestrians - he didn't get anything and when i told him off in russian he looked confused and walked away (he though we were tourists, which we were ... but ... ) i don't want to tell you it's safe and be wrong - anything could happend to anyone anytime and everything is possible, but it's certainly no reason to stay home 24hours /day so maybe to make you feel more comfortable you can look into getting a guide or driver - i was told a driver can be gotten for $30USD/day - or stay in some places where you meet people, fellow travelers, and pair up
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 08:40 AM
  #6  
Jennifer
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Thank you for your responses. As I mentioned, I'm not going to be going out alone at night (!), but for those who are traveling by themselves, what did you do at night? <BR><BR>Pearl, one place I do go out alone at night is in Paris. I've been there multiple times and know the area where I go out. I'm not saying it's a wise thing to do or that nothing will ever happen to me, but in certain areas of Paris, I feel comfortable doing so.<BR><BR>But, back to Russia...<BR><BR>Jennifer
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 08:46 AM
  #7  
Jennifer
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Lili, I didn't see your response when I posted! Even though I'm trying to keep expenses down, I think maybe I'll just hire somebody to, well, essentially be my bodyguard! I have recently made several contacts in each city, so this looks like an avenue I just may pursue.<BR><BR>Thank you,<BR><BR>Jennifer
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 12:45 PM
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Susan Metcalf
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Hi Jennifer! I just got home from Moscow (went June 1- June 9th) and my friend and I (both single women) were very careful and unfortunately, we could not talk with most of the local poeple. (we're spoiled in Western Europe where many locals there know Enlish). We held tight or pocketed our $ and credit cards and had no problems. We had a fascinating trip.<BR>p.s. IF you are a "dog person" - please feed the stray dogs - I did so right next to the famous Bolshoi Theatre!! I just love animals and I fed many of them. (but didn't try to pet them just in case they got defensive) <BR>Anyway - their are many elderly people and handicapped people begging for $ there....and I gave what I could.<BR>HAVE FUN! When are you going??<BR>Susan
 
Old Jun 20th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #9  
Susan Metcalf
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p.s. Jennifer - me again.....oh...I don't want you to think I only noticed the homeless dogs over there!... and I do know how to spell English! ha ha<BR>Anyway, besides the classic sites (Red Square, ballet at Bolshoi theater, Kremlin, etc),,,,one VERY interesting thing my friend and I did was a tour of the private KGB museum. You must arrange it in advance with through your hotel or local contact,,,and they charge $100 whether there are 2 of you or 20. (at least that's what they charged us! - everything seems quite negotiable there - particularly drivers/taxi rides - negotiate!!<BR>e-mail me if you want ideas on some restaurants and other experiences that I enjoyed there. Be careful, but enjoy!! p.s. handsome men there, but difficult to chat with most of them.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 06:21 AM
  #10  
Vadim
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Since when Russia became a third world country? Russia as all Europe is a frist world country, USA - a second world country, and Africa and South America - third. That is the official definition.<BR><BR>I lived in Moscow for 20+ years and I would say that streets are pretty safe. If you do not wander to remote areas or approach crazy rioting soccer fans -)) you are very unlikely to get mugged.<BR>Pickpockets are a bigger problem since tourists are always easy game but the same is everywhere. <BR>My favorite restaurant in Mefisto Castle ("Zamok Mefisto"). It is not cheap (~$50pp with wine) but you can be sure that meat would melt in your mouth, wine will be proper temperature and waiter will come to your table about 2 seconds before you start thinking about calling him. It is not far from metro "Ulitsa 1905 goda"<BR>
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 06:24 AM
  #11  
mj
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ttt this to bounce another disgusting thread further down the list
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 06:25 AM
  #12  
mj
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I didn't mean "this" thread but another that's just a filthy troll.
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #13  
Question
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What does ttt mean? Perhaps 'to the top' but what does THAT mean?<BR>Thanks.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2002, 04:35 AM
  #14  
Gretchen
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Another situation to be aware of particularly if you are alone is the bands of gypsy "children" who may truly surround and attack you. This happened to a friend who was out by herself--her sweater was just about torn off of her in her fighting them off. I try not to be alarmist in traveling but I think forewarned is forearmed.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 10:21 AM
  #15  
Jennifer
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Gretchen (or anyone),<BR><BR>What is the best way to fend off the hordes of children that approach? I've never experienced this (and hopefully never will!), but I'd like to know the best thing to do if I see them approaching or as is probably more likely, when they start "pawing" at me.<BR><BR>Jennifer
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #16  
Elin
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Anyone attempting Russia independently (that is, not on a full-time tour) should learn the Cyrillic alphabet, in addition to phrasebook-type basics. Honestly, you can easily learn the alphabet over a weekend.<BR><BR>If you don't know where to start, try here: http://www.friends-partners.org/oldfriends/language/russian-alphabet.html<BR><BR>
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 02:10 PM
  #17  
xxx
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vadim - <BR><BR>french writer maurice duverger first described the new world order thusly: first world - the democratic West; second world - communist, totalitarian countries including the soviet union; third world - poor countries of low income and large, rapidly increasing populations.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2002, 02:57 PM
  #18  
Jennifer
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Hi Elin,<BR><BR>I *think* I know the Cryllic letters (I get a couple of sounds mixed up, though!), and I've been listening to audiotapes. Starting next week, I'll meet with a native Russian speaker for tutoring. Although I'll be doing some sightseeing in Moscow and St. Petersburg, most of my time will be spent a thousand miles east of Moscow, where virtually no one speaks English! Hopefully, I'll have down the absolute basics by the end of August, when I leave. And my Russian dictionary will be treated with the same respect as my passport/visa. ;-)<BR><BR>Jennifer
 
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