There have been a few articles on destinations in the former Soviet Union, this week. Firstly we have The Age, with a story on Moscow’s club scene, which is currently booming; mind you, the price of the recommended hotel at the end of the article isn’t exactly geared for the independent traveller.
Next up, the New York Times spends 36 hours in Riga, the capital of Latvia, now proudly out of the Soviet sphere of influence and firmly ensconced in the EU.
Finally, for a really out-of-the-way trip, The Guardian recommends visiting Almaty, previously the capital of Kazahkstan, now just its largest city.
Unless you’re planning on cheating by flying, a trip to Riga or Moscow will most likely take you through Poland. Riga is a tad inconvenient to get to by train, requiring a journey from Warsaw to Vilnius, and then another from Vilnius to Riga. Moscow, on the other hand, is quite straightforward – there are a number of direct services from Warsaw, and even one or two from Berlin.
Almaty is another story altogether; a train trip from Moscow takes an excruciating 78 hours, departing at 22:40, arriving at 7:11, three days and eighteen hours later.