Report of a group visit to Russia to wittness the Vicory Day Parade over the city of Moscow in May 2016. Besides this main event several other museums were visited.
Comparable to the first Russia trip of 2015, also in May 2016 4Aviation travelled to Moscow with the main goal being the yearly Victory Day Parade on May 9 on, over and around the Red Square. The Victory Day parade celebrates the end of the “Great Patriotic War” or the victory over Nazi Germany. Apart from this main goal, a number of aviation related sites in and around Moscow would be visited. Eight members of the group met up in the very early morning of 6 May at the familiar red and white blocks of the meeting point at Schiphol Plaza. Despite the very early hour, everyone was well on time. Check-in for the 2-leg flight to Domodedovo went smooth and thanks to a helpful security agent guiding our group through a separate security channel we were quickly airside. The first leg brought us on-time to Vienna where we had to transfer for our 2nd flight to Moscow-Domodedovo. After a rather uneventful flight we landed ahead of schedule in Moscow. Customs and baggage retrieval was a breeze and we met up with another group member who only just made his connection in Vienna. Once outside in the arrivals hall, it took a few minutes to locate our bus-driver but surprisingly, since things tend to be different in Russia than in Western Europe, he was on-time. After loading our stuff in the bus, we quickly drove off to our hotel for the next 4 nights. From the outside the hotel looked typical Eastern-bloc but it was clean and comfortable inside and the personnel rather friendly and helpful. Upon arrival at the hotel, to our surprise, all check-in formalities were pre-arranged by the front desk lady so it was just a matter of distributing the room keys. In no-time we had dropped our luggage in the rooms and were back downstairs for a first taste of Moscow city! The hotel was well located close by a metro station and 2 shopping malls with plenty restaurants. The group quickly figured out how to navigate Moscow’s extensive metro network and within minutes we were on our way to the Red Square. Due to the Victory Day parade the square itself was off-limits but we toured the outside and had more than a glimpse of the square itself and the impressive buildings and architecture around it. After spending a couple of hours walking about like tourists and taking plenty snapshots, we headed back. At the food-court near our hotel we ordered a quick meal and then headed back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest in preparation for the dress rehearsal of the parade the next morning. Our last group member also had arrived, he travelled on his own, so the group was made complete.