Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Leaving the west

So, there we are, at the border between Finland and Russia. That’s where our trip really starts to get interesting. We left Denmark on July 3rd, after a BBQ party with Anders’ friends by a very fine weather (but the Danes warned me that I didn’t get the real Danish experience: it’s supposed to be cold and rainy; well, I don’t mind). Then a long ride through Sweden, spend the night on the deck of the ferry to Finland, and look around Helsinki for a good set of knobby tyres. Not very exciting really.

I actually crossed 4 countries without seeing any custom officer (Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden), and a very informal one in Finland (thank you EU) but now this is different: Russia means quite a bit of red tape. Of course they don’t speak English, and they don’t try to help you (except this young soldier who was bored to death) but the female custom officers are attractive and we have time, so eventually we enter this huge country spanning no less than a quarter of the earth!

First stop right after the border to get some petrol (half price compared to Finland), and we find a couple blonde girls very lightly clothed to fill up our tanks; as the saying goes, you don’t have a second chance to make a good first impression, and those Russians do it the right way..


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