I do not wish people to think that cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg are not suitable destinations, but they should consider some degree of forward planning. Independent travel is not a good idea unless you have a good knowledge of the language, a strong constitution and a well- developed sense of humour.
Perhaps I am of too few years to remember popular usage of the word 'spiv', used by your travel editor, Simon Calder, to describe certain inhabitants of Moscow, but I have learnt during some 20 visits to Russia, working with homeless children, that the locals have a much more endearing name for such people: Mafia.
For those wishing to see Lenin's mausoleum as directed, enjoy the view from the outside. It has been closed for months.
General Director, Russia '93 Caring Hands
Erith, KentReuse content