Russia 2019 - Jun 11 - Jul 1, 2019
We both enjoyed the trip immensely. Good support was given by both Sean and Ulyana. Problems were quickly resolved.
Our main interactions ere with the various tour guides. Most were either very good or excellent. I wish to make special commendations for the tour guides in Suzdal/Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Minsk, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg. All tuned in to what we wanted and all spoke very good or excellent English.
Sean was also great in Moscow but the first local guide didn't understand us. We first drove to a decrepit church out of town and then stayed in a central location. I was put off making efforts to isit some places. It was a wasted day. In fact although it was our first local tour guide, she did not set the standards for the others thankfully. The other Moscow tour guide was much better and we had a goodtime but her English was not so good.
Then there was Volgograd. The main guide was incredibly friendly and did what we wanted. He was also very eccentric (wonderfully and unintentionally entertaining) but his analysis of Stalingrad missed out an awful lot (that I have since found out by looing at YouTube documentaries). We expected the Soviet line to prevail but there was no analysis of what the Germans did wrong and an explanation of the successful Soviet tactics The commentary was all about evil German "Fascists" and clever and brave Soviet soldiers. He even criticised the German sht pronunciation of Stalingrad by saying they couldn't even be bothered saying it right. I explained that st in German is always pronounced sht for all words. I'm not sure he believed me. For all that, I would use him again as his pluses far outweigh the negatives but just don't trail him as an in-depth and objective analyst! (I am going to send him some Tottenham memorabilia for his son who enjoyed seeing Tottenham striker score twice for England in Volgograd during the World Cup last year).