My husband and I (early 40s and African-American) are going to a SEPT wedding in Astrakhan for his best friend. This falls right around our anniversary so the plan is to attend the wedding and then spend 3 days in Moscow on our own. I have been doing basic research but his friend is scaring me a little. So bear with me here.
We will be leaving JFK to Moscow, then taking a 2hr connecting flight to get to what he is calling a "Russian village". He is adamant about us taking the same flights and never being without him and his bride to be. So we will essentially get to the village 3 days prior to the wedding and basically be shuttled back and forth from the hotel to his bride to be's family home (where none of them speak English). I have no problem being adventurous in a foreign city and love the aspect of stumbling into a unique cafe or just strolling on my own to take in the sights. I was hoping I could use my downtime to explore while they are doing wedding stuff (hubby is the best man) but the Groom has suggested against it. He is also African-American and has been here before, so I certainly trust him...but I feel like he isn't giving us the true lay of the land. He suggests getting a guide and translator if I want to get out and about in the village and even commented that there isn't that much to see anyway. He ended with "You just need to be safe." Ummm....from what exactly?
I bring up our race because I have been told by several AA friends that they aren't so friendly outside of the more touristy spots in Moscow. But I'm told all is well once we get back to Moscow for our own trip. So that is where I need some assistance. I'm excited but with all of this mystery and negative talk I've been hearing, I'm considering sitting this one out and planning a separate trip of our own. So any info here would be helpful. And please note that in no way am I trying to offend the people of Russia - it looks like a beautiful city & I adore architecture.
If all goes as planned, we would leave the wedding on Sunday headed back to Moscow for 3 days. I would like to do as much as possible and am eyeing the Kremlin Square neighborhood to get the most out of our days there. However, I also want to be relatively close to the Airport (SVO) so maybe my geography is a bit off. We're open to do their Metro and taxis but a hotel with a great view and in walking distance to the main epicenter, would be preferred. I want to get the most out of our short time there and trying to book this trip has been a near nightmare with the Groom wanting us to book everything right away without giving us the time to do the proper research for our own trip. Aside from his parents, we are the only other people making the trek to support them so the pressure is on.
Thx to all for any insight, information and recommendations. You guys have never steered me wrong.
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