Technical note: All photos were taken using a Canon G1X. The title card was created using 53's Paper and Pencil on an iPad mini with Retina display.
I've got a lot to say about this trip, but I'll simply start off with this note: It started out as an answer to the question, "What would happen if Matt went to Russia?" Russia. The former "Evil Empire." The country on the "Do Not Travel" list issued by PERMMIT (People's Republic of Mattopia Ministry of Travel).
It turns out so much of what I'd read and heard in the media was at the very least a little off balance. I was still overcoming my own outdated impressions and preconceptions about what a trip to Russia would be like. Police shakedowns on street corners. Hit up for kick-backs before I could cross the street. Stuff like that.
Instead, in St. Petersburg and Moscow I found Technicolor marvels and this trip still lingers in mind now, already some two months removed.
I took to Moscow and its incredible subway system like a pig in slop. And the energy coarsing through the streets and the underground fueled a momentum that I felt upon my return to Amsterdam (which bookended the trip to Russia). After departing Moscow and barely catching my connecting flight in Vienna after having to go through security, explain my replica Fabergé egg and run through the concourse to the connecting gate, I returned to my hotel in Amsterdam and needed to take a break. Lying down on the bed, I was in awe of the sense of my body still in a state of perpetual motion. I had never felt that sensation to that extent.
It was absolutely awesome.
Stay tuned, true believers. There's a lot more to come.