I withstood the Russian winter for as long as I could; but, with the onset of acute bronchitis, the cold was too much. Breathing felt like swallowing knives. I consulted with three Russian pharmacists, two Russian paramedics, and a Russian doctor, all via translators. After my hotel in Moscow called an ambulance, and the prospect of spending Christmas in a Russian hospital became too real, I chose to cut my trip short, skipping Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok, and instead booking a Christmas Eve flight to London via Istanbul. I arrived at my hotel in London shortly after midnight on Christmas morning, to spend at least the next few days in bed.
|Moscow to Istanbul; Istanbul to London.|
|Waiting for my flight from Istanbul to London. I was in a rush, but the airport in Istanbul seemed pretty nice.|
|In hindsight, I'm not even sure I needed a visa for transit only; but, well, now I've got one.|