A Travellerspoint blog

9. Russia

Into the complete unkown - a near miss here and a near miss there, here a near miss there a near miss...

Nervousness about what Russia would hold for us was quickly confirmed. It was the only visa we required and the Finnish/Russian border control was 4 hours of hither and thither and huffing, teeth gnashing and a taste of the legendary Russian grumpiness. In the run up to the border, there must have been 20 Kms of trucks lined-up waiting for clearance from the Russians, so I guess 4 hours was not too bad. The roads from the border to St Petersburg were shocking and we had a tense time trying to keep a decent average speed. That would have been Ok but for the insane driving on those same roads - absolutely and literally blew us away! Hostile overtaking with cms to spare was the norm. We put on a brave face but were not enjoying it, particularly in the knowledge that we had a LONG way to go. We hoped things would improve and some of the roads between Moscow and Sochi were better as the winter olympics are being held in Sochi in 2014 - but the driving nonetheless still manic and suicidal. In general, Russia remains a worrying enigma to us. A rich and turbulent history with amazing Tzar era buildings contrasted with soviet era drabness, incredible museums...However there seems to be a small power bloc running the country and the economy - those must be the ones in the black porsches and BEEMER X5's with no plates, running everyone off the road. If you aren't one of the political or economic elite, then you seem to have very little. Democracy is just a visage. There seems to be a sinister side to Russia, which leave you quite unsettled. However, we did meet some fantastic people who showed us another face to Russia - generous to a fault and without whom we would have slept in a park the first night in St Petersburg. Thank you Kate, and Igor in St Petersburg. Thank you too Viktor and Nellie in Rostov-on-Don for your wonderful generosity and concern for our well being. We should have listened to you and delayed our leg to Sochi for a day...

Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia


Russia

Russia

Posted by StevenCarol11 04:25 Archived in Russia

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint