We visited Svalbard (formerly known by its Dutch name Spitsbergen) for a week and it was as magical as ever. Being the northernmost human settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population it offered us the comforts of the modern world and the wilderness at the same time.
This time it was 10th of December 2016, when we arrived in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. We have been here before.Jayalalithaa Jayaram (very famous Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister) had recently died (5th December) and we were expecting some sort of unrest. However, the public sentiment seemed tamed, perhaps subdued by the unraveling of the recent banknote demonetisation (8th November – 31st December 2016) of all ₹500 and ₹1,000 (rupees) banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. The latter caused cash starvation, difficulties transacting among the common people and tourists, frustrations and barter exchanges. The reason was the short supply of notes to ATMs by the banks (only few ATMs were actually working in the country), the daily limit on personal cash withdrawals and larger banknote nominations being given out to people.
(Mid-February – good time to experience minus temperatures and snow)
This time the journey takes us toMoscow and Sochi– two cities quite different in what they can offer to tourists…
Who doesn’t know something about Moscow already?
Moscow’s changing and growing at the same time… Numerous building projects can be seen while driving from Sheremetievo airport, through suburbs of Moscow to its central district. The streets are snow and ice-free, despite the recent snowfall and traffic seemed normal. The temperature was – 5 ⁰C, which in the following three days reached – 11⁰C … brrrr
We arrived at Petrovka Street, which is one of the oldest in Moscow and derives its name from the Vysoko-Petrovsky monastery located here. Some of the other famous buildings on that street are: