Six Months at Lake Baikal - A Road Trip

The happy crew
photo: Hagen Quasdorf

As most of you know, I'm currently travelling around Russia. We went through quite some trouble before we left, acquiring the visas, but made it finally. Last Wednesday we took the ferry from Rostock to Finland and, after a short trip to Helsinki, headed fo the border. The border check went unexpectedly smooth and an hour later we were on Russian ground.

Driving through the cities is challenging, St. Petersburg and Moscow being no exception from the rule. In Moscow we somehow passed by Red Square, although we didn't want to drive right through the centre. The condition of roads and highways vary from superb to absolutely poor. That's regardless of where the road leads to. The Russians seem to be finished with their lives - they drive like crazy. Everybody tries to finish off their Lada in as short a time period as possible. And here's one for German car owners: the liter gas costs only about 30 euro-cents, the liter diesel fuel 20. Unfortunately, we didn't drive as much as we planned during the last days. I did, however, leave 100 roubles (approx. 2,50 Euros) with the local police for speeding.

Today they accused me of going 20 km/h fast, which wasn't true of course. At first these village sheriffs wanted 5 Dollars, then raised it to 10 and later fixed the price at some bottles of beer. I pretended to understand nothing until they lost patience and let me go. Other than that the frequent checks are no bother. The police are nice and friendly. In fact, they're usually just curious what we're here for.

The past two days we drove through endless green countrysides alongside the Volga River - just meadows, lakes and woods up to the horizon. Unfortunately, we don't have the time to explore all this further. Yesterday, we saw Kazan, a town definitely worth visiting. We swam in the Volga River just opposite of the Kremlin (the town castle). Apart from some smaller showers, the wheather is fantastic, sunshine and temperatures around 30°C. Today we're off to the Urals, so by tomorrow we'll be in Siberia. There's only 5000 km left from there. That ought to be manageable. If you have any question, send us an email to


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12 Oct 2006

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