Adopting from Russia (2003)

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Aug 16
to Moscow

Homeward bound

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Bailey Venera Orphanage Ekaterinburg Moscow
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Sunday August 17, Moscow to Frankfurt to Toronto

Yet another early morning, rising at 3:15am for a 3:45am departure. We actually made it downstairs before Olga arrived. The drive to the airport, like yesterday was uneventful, and lacking in traffic. Our good byes were said, and after accompanying us as far as immigration, Olga bade us goodbye and we were on our own. No immigration or customs problems, a quick duty-free stop for Vodka, Baileys (yes) and chocolate bars. One last American style coffee (for 115 rubles this time, almost as much as our meals!) a short wait, and then we were off again, back to Frankfurt.

An uneventful flight, and a 5 hour lay-over led to our next flight. When trying to find our next gate, which wasn't yet posted, due to it being too many hours away when we met 2 westerners (Canadian) who were flying direct back to Calgary from Frankfurt. One of the fellows had been in Russia for 12 days, training Russians on some farm equipment, and it was his first time in Russia AND his first airplane trip ever. He tagged along for a bit, to find out where he was to wait for his flight. The other man was with his Russian girlfriend, and was travelling home from Siberia where he has been leading construction of a school. The people you meet while travelling are always interesting.

Our layover was uneventful. We went to McDonalds for a McMuffin and we browsed at the duty-free store. I then set to work figuring out the telephones again! I had had no success travelling through TO Moscow. I followed the instructions for credit card, but no avail. I fainally tried the instructions for "international calls" through some Deutch 1-800 number, and Success! We called Sandy in Stuttgart and had a brief conversation with her. She and Roman are doing well. It was good to talk to her. I attempted to call Maurice in France, but had no luck there!

With a bit more waiting to do, we sat in a lounge and started to watch "Gattica" on DVD. Headphones on and laptop on my knee, it actually worked quite well, except that we didn't have enough time to finish the movie before heading to our departure lounge.

Our flight left a little late, but no real problems. It was an Air Canada flight on a 747 (this leg had been Lufthansa on the way over) and I guess Air Canada fits less rows into their 747s because we seemed to have a lot more room that the flight over.

No real events onboard, but our seat companions, were a pair of sisters flying home from Italy! Whose flight home from Rome on Friday had been cancelled because of the Power outage in Toronto. They had been shuttled to Frankfurt, and had spent 2 days there waiting in stand-by to get back home. They and their father all got separate seats, but a passenger moved so the sisters could be together, and they were looking forward to getting back home after their 3 week trip to visit relatives in Sicily. We were glad that we didn't have their plight (Note: about 3 days after our return, we heard of an Air Canada flight from Frankfurt to Toronto, that was diverted to Iceland, because of smoke in the cabin. That would have been our flight, so again, we are happy for no mishaps!)

The baggage pick-up was slow, but once out the gate, we were greeted with big hugs from Bob and Olive and Ruth.

We were glad to be home, and looking forward to our next trip to pick up Bailey.

Andrew (+ Maureen)

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