Thursday, April 28, 2011

Domodedevo Airport

We arrived in Moscow at 9:00 am and by 12:30 we had grabbed a bite of breakfast and navigated the Metro and electric train from Kursk railway station to Domodedevo Airport.  It is a modern new airport terminal that would be at home in any big city in the world.  Found a wifi spot, downloaded emails and my old computer ran out of battery.  So we found a bench and slept.  Had supper at 5:00 and just now (6:00) we found a great little coffee shop that has plug ins for laptops as one of their sales features so I am having coffee and Tanya is wandering.  We don't have enough rubles for her to shop in an airport.  I did find a nice watch I really liked in on of those shops that doesn't post prices...I guess not.

First time I was in Domodedevo airport was 20 years ago this month.  My first international trip.  It was still the Soviet Union in those days.  I will blog about that trip sometime.  Domodedevo was a hellhole in those days.  Domestic traffic only.   Sort of like a really old very busy bus depot in a poor section of a big city.  No seats, no service, no nothing. You needed high rubber boots to go into the toilets.  Tanya was through it many times with her kids in those days and remembers it well.  In summer people sat out on the grass.  It was cold when we were there and our plane was 5 or 6 hours late.  We sat inside on our luggage in the tea shop with hundreds of other people.

At 4:00 our plane left for Almaty Kazhakstan. In those times all flights were scheduled for night so passengers couldn't look out the window and learn anything they shouldn't.  Like the presence of large cities that weren't marked on any maps.  I don't know what they thought the U2 flights and then the satellites were doing all that time but anyhow...In Uralsk, I got busted for taking a picture of a bridge.


  1. Wow, that's some experience you had there in the old days. I wouldn't have imagined that things were so bad.

  2. People sometimes say that the former Soviet Union imploded. It didn't. It just got tired and fell over.

  3. Happy trails.
    Keep blogging.

    the Ol'Buzzard

  4. I hope you do blog of your life back then; i will be interested to read about it for sure.
    Your comment re the cities that weren't on any maps so reminded me of the Chinese building their great wall, except of course that was so long ago and they had no idea the world could come via air.
    Also thought of all the pics i took of the navy base in San Diego but not one turned out. (pre digital days) I was sure they must have had something invisible in the air that prevented pics so i wrote and asked them (stupidly) Of course they said not true but funny all the zoo pics and others all turned out ok.

  5. Night flights so people wouldn't notice cities that weren't on the map. Whew. A holdover from the really paranoid, nonsensical Stalin era, I suspect.

    I am so glad things have come such a long way for people in that part of the world. I'm sure there's still much room for improvement, but still.

  6. Knowing a little bit about how Russian aircraft are built I can just imagine the take offs and landings in that part of the world. They were too cheap to build good smooth runways so they beefed up the landing gear to compensate.

  7. Your past is who you are...I want to hear more.

  8. Sounds like quite an adventure Al. Safe journey to you both.