Help Oindrila Choose her Stay in Moscow!

I was on top of the world when I found out last month that I won return flights to Moscow! 🙂 I pinched myself five times to confirm I wasn’t dreaming. This news couldn’t have come at a better time as I was really upset with my life and the lack of any foreign travel lately. But the world has an amazing way to surprise you and lift your mood when you least expect it!

One of many magical sights that await me! :-) (Source: burgessyachts.com/en/locations/moscow)

One of many magical sights that await me! 🙂 (Source: burgessyachts.com/en/locations/moscow)

While it is really nice to daydream about the wonderful experiences I’ll be having in Moscow, I must not forget that I first have to sort out my stay! I did a quick search for hotels in that city, and boy, are they expensive! I really don’t want to blow my budget on something I’ll only be using for the night. (I’ll be spending a lot of rubles on sightseeing and interesting restaurants and shopping!) I shut my laptop, and a fantastic thought struck me – Airbnb! This option is perfect for a travel freak like me who loves the authentic local experience. Here are the benefits:-

  • I can stay with a local, and yet have some privacy. (I get my own room! 🙂 )
  • If the host is nice (and has free time), I’ll have company on my outings.
  • I’ll get to practise some Russian with a real Russian! 🙂 (That makes me go “Ура”!)
  • And most importantly, it’s dirt cheap!

Now, you know how indecisive I can get when I have too many lovely options! So, I’m asking you all (my wise and well meaning readers 😉 ) to help me choose my stay. I have handpicked 5 rooms offered by some kind ladies (I have nothing against men, but my parents are paranoid! 😛 ) who live in the heart of Moscow. Now, I need your help to finalize my stay! Are you ready? Here are the nominations (*Academy Award style*):-

1. Cute Pink Room

Pink walls with pictures that tell a story? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/1095147)

Pink walls with pictures that tell a story? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/1095147)

This room is right at the top of my list. I love this one because of the thick mattress I can see on the bed. I’m already dreaming of what I’ll dream about when I sleep on it! The room also has a nice window from where I’ll be able to watch the snow melt. Can you see the three racks of books in that corner? I know I’ll be reading myself a story to bed every night!

2. Drawing-Room-Turned-Bedroom

Pullout sofa anyone?(Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/3889387)

Pullout sofa anyone?(Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/3889387)

This is a cosy flat in North Moscow. The host is offering her pullout couch with some pillows and blankets thrown in. This looks pretty basic and neat to me. What do you think? This room also has curtains (unlike the previous one). Then again, I’d really like all the sun to keep me warm in the -7 degrees of Moscow!

3. Free Kitchen Access

Home away from home? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/4123024)

Home away from home? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/4123024)

This host lives with her husband and a little child. She’s ready to give full access to her well equipped kitchen. (What if I want to try cooking a new Russian dish?) The neighbourhood is pretty posh and safe, but the residents will be at work all day, so I won’t have a local to take me around.

4. The Brain-and-Brawn Room

Gym + Library in my bedroom? :-)

Gym + Library in my bedroom? 🙂 (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/881796)

The spacious wood-floored bedroom has an entire wall full of books! And as if that wasn’t enough, they stock it with a treadmill an weightlifting bars! If I stay here, I’ll not only be slightly more intelligent from my trip, but also look like the female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger! (Okay, I was REALLY kidding there! A week’s worth of working out won’t even help me burn the pounds I’ll gain gorging on Muscovite cuisine.)

5. Four Poster Bed and Flowerpots

Wood and chocolate room?

Wood and chocolate room? (Source: airbnb.co.in/rooms/3870842)

This host sure has greenfingers because every room in her flat has half a dozen flowerpots! 🙂 It’ll be nice to share my room with another living being (only talking about plants here 😉 ). The room is really small, but the price makes up for it.

Alright! I’m done describing my options. If you were me, which would you choose? Help me decide and I’ll delight you with wonderful stories and pictures from my adventures in the mystical city of Moscow! You can view my Airbnb Wishlist for details of the rooms. If reading this article got you interested in Airbnb, you can sign up with my referral link. I’m giving away Airbnb credit worth Rs.1,549 if you use my link to register! (Thank me by helping me choose my stay, please.)

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My Airbnb Bucket List

A couple of days back, one of my favourite travel bloggers, Shivya, announced the AirbnbBucketList contest on her page. I posted my entries but I could not stop at that. The images of those beautiful dwellings found their way into my dreams and I’d wake up shattered by the reality of getting dressed for work and waiting for the day to end so I could get back home and dream some more. I read somewhere that keeping a dream-journal helps people deal with recurring dreams and understand the deeper meanings behind them. So here I am, writing about this particular dream that I saw thrice in the past 3 days…

Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832

Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832

This neat little cottage is tucked away in Mayne Island, Canada. But for now, it sits firmly in my head. The house appears as it if has been modelled by a kindergartener playing with Playdoh. It’s so smooth with no apparent edges! The roof curves fluidly, lending a kind of flexibility to the character of this edifice. The grassy patch around this quaint house is home to Opal & Onyx, the sheep that stay here and welcome new guests every now and then.

Onyx says hello to you!

Onyx says hello to you! (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

I often enter this hut in my dreams and gasp at the tastefully designed wooden roofs and bamboo-stairway (to heaven, perhaps? 😉 ) I notice there’s a showcase full of my favourite books and a basket next to it. I decide instantly to fill my basket with a book and head outside to enjoy the summery skies and short tales.

The inside story (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

The inside story (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

I re enter this tiny paradise and fall fast asleep in my circular bed with half a dozen pillows to keep me comfortable. I wake up to find I have a splendid view outside – the sun is bright and the forest, green. I walk out onto the balcony and breathe in the fresh woody air.

The room upstairs (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

The room upstairs (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

I realize I am hungry now. I head down to the S-shaped kitchen. The counter has some scones, I see. I put some tea leaves to boil in a kettle. I pick up some butter on my way out of the kitchen with my plate of scones and a cup of tea, to sit outside in my balcony with nature again…

The food-space (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

The food-space (Source: https://www.airbnb.co.in/rooms/1720832)

But before I bite into any swirl of scone, I hear the doorbell. Immediately, I rush to answer the door, but the door brings me back to the present, and I find myself sulking on a Monday morning. From the rustic peace in Mayne Island to the noisy streets of Mumbai – I return to the grind of daily-life, and long for that dream to come true someday…

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The title of this post is rather misleading. I don’t have a list, just a little dream. If you too dream of living far away in a lovely cottage, enter this contest now!