After 40 plus hours of travel time from the time we left the town of Berdsk, we made it back to the US. The final part of the trip saw the wrestlers get to take part in a little more of some Russian traditions on Friday evening. Our Russian hosts took the team to a lake to have a small party for them. The party included swimming in the lake, jumping in the sauna, and having kabobs. Many “social” activates centered around going into the sauna. The sauna was extremely hot and wrestlers would go into the sauna and then cool off at the lake. It was a cycle that got repeated several times.
Saturday morning started off with packing up and going to Novosibirsk for some sightseeing before our afternoon flight. The guys all did a little sightseeing packed by doing some last minute souvenir shopping. Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia and is the capital of Siberia. It is a very modern city and very nice. The highlight was going to Kentucky Fried Chicken and getting some American food.
After hanging out at the Novosibirsk Airport for a short period of time, we took a 4.5 hour flight to Moscow which included a three hour time zone changed.
Once in Moscow we took a shuttle bus to the Red Square. We had about five hours of sightseeing time in the Red Square. The Red Square was a beautiful place and really great to see. Everyone also went to McDonalds when we arrived there.
After finishing up in the Red Square we headed to the other Moscow airport for a nine hour layover before flying to JFK. This included trying to sleep a little bit.
The Moscow Airport had some of the toughest security we have ever seen. We were screened about a total of five times before being able to board the plane. After a short 9.5 hour flight we were back in the US. Once everyone cleared final security, we all went on our way.
The tour was a pretty amazing experience that we will never forget. We were able to go to a part of the world that many people will never get the opportunity to visit. We were in a village where we were the first Americans anyone had ever seen. While some of the wrestling training was not what we had hoped, the trip still brought about a great cultural experience.
This will be the final blog from our trip to Siberia.