Glad you appreciate them Wayne! I must tell you, and Trades, and anyone else interested that it was one hell of an interesting experience! There is too much to tell here, but this trip was full of very interesting and synchronistic events that really added to the mystery of life for me!
Just for one example: I would not have even seen Moscow really, (except for just driving through to the airport) except that I was passing through from my train ride from Petroz. to take a jet to New York, (Then on to San. Fran.) BUT...the flight was canceled! And the airline provided 1st class accomodations at a very posh Hotel in downtown Moscow, complete with 3 meals in thier 5 star restaruant! But the interesting part of the story is, this woman who got in line at the exact same time as me at the airport (to find out our predicament and reschedule our flight) I thought I sort of recognized...we stood in line for a full 2 hours barely speaking a word to each other...(come to find out she works as a 'linguist' for a major company doing Russian/English modifications for electronic translators!...she has a 'greencard' and works in San Jose, and was just there visiting her parents) So she spoke very good English of course, anyways... she offers to help me at the counter (as hardly anyone at the airport spoke decent English), and then show me the way to the Hotel being provide by the airline...(as they did NOT provide transportation there for some odd reason)....so I follow her around like a little lost puppy dog...to check in our baggage...take the fast train to the metro...and then walking thru downtown Moscow to find the Hotel, which turned out to be a challenge even for her! But in the course of our walking together to the Hotel we slowly struck up a friendship, and then decided to spend the evening together traveling around Moscow! (as she know Moscow a bit although actually lived in a small town far from there originally) And we ate all of our meals together, I shared all of my pictures and stories with her...and then I said she had looked familiar, like we had flown together before...so I asked her "where did you fly in from last time and when...she replied "from Helsinki in July!! I was shocked...then we compared our previous visas and shur enough!! We HAD to have flown on the same plane from NY to Helsinki back in July!! Small world, you know... and anyways we went exploring, and looking at all the wonders...and Moscow at Christmas is truly a wonder! Then, we even sat together on BOTH of our flights back to SF (we were the only 2 passengers taking that particular connecting flight!) So, we both feel there must be a reason for such synchronicity... BTW, She is married, and I am quite serious with Elena so we are just friends, but quite good ones now as we email each other weekly....So, anyways, I got a 'mini' vacation at the end of my vacation...and those spontaneous ones are the most fun!!
But this is justy one story out of many interesting ones...I love to travel and if I was loaded I would do a lot more of it...