Business Travel: Moscow v. 2.0
As is already well-known, Moscow is undergoing a construction and business boom right now. What does this mean for travelers?
Starting at the airport, SVO-2 was remodeled recently, with those crazy "pie-tins" taken off the ceiling and new flat-screen TVs installed throughout the terminals which now display music videos, advertising, news, etc. SVO-2 is still not particularly noted for its efficiency but there are also many more "creature comforts" there now.
1. Tech-Friendly The funny-looking machine to the right is a rapid cell phone recharger. At the bottom is an array of cords that fit most cell models. At the top are instructions and a coin slot. Also notice where this is located - in a new Internet cafe. SVO-2 is also now equipped with WiFi, but we've found it temperamental - sometimes it's free, sometimes not, sometimes the access cards are not for sale in the actual airport, sometimes it doesn't work at all.
2. Tasty Drinks Remember the machines that used to dispense the carbonated water with that sickly syrup? The drink that Bulgakov's characters have to grudgingly settle for in the first chapter of Master and Margarita? Those have been gone for some time - and now you can get fresh squeezed OJ in SVO-2 from machines like those pictured to the left. We haven't even seen these in Western airports yet! The coffee and espresso machines located nearby are also not bad in the quality of their product.
3. The Intourist Morphs Inside Moscow a new surprise recently appeared. The old ugly Intourist Hotel - long enveloped in its cocoon of green construction gauze - has emerged as a promising Ritz Carlton. Construction is still underway and the hotel is not scheduled to officially open until March 2007, but the aesthetically pleasing exterior, pictured below left, is already a welcome sight on Tverskaya.