Russia, here we come! After more than one month fight for our visas we almost lost our hope. But Russian embassy in Ukraine is much nicer than in Moldova and… we won our small battle.
The way from a place we stayed in Chisinau to Russian embassy we learn by heart. We went there so many times. Awful atmosphere, starting with a door selection, finishing at the lady with red lipstick saying again and again: you will bring this and that and then we will see… At the end they found a paragraph that they cannot give visa to German citizen (that he can apply for Russian visa only from his country). So with Hanna we could drive through Russia but without Tom. We decided not to.
But we also decided not to give up and try again same game in Russian embassy in Odessa. After some planning (with great help of Rover Hostel in Georgia, our friend Therese from Tbilisi and Elgun from Baku) – we went great prepared to embassy and… got the visas in 3 days! With nice talks (in English!).
We have a transfer visa (because we travel by our own car, not staying in hotels, not being organized by any travel agency). Such a visa is made for concrete amount of days – counted for your concrete track. You have to tell in embassy from where do you travel and where are you heading to. Our plan was to go along the seaside, through Rostov-on-Don, then Novorossiysk and jumping for some time to Sochi, and going down to Vladivostok (nearby is the only open Russian-Georgian border). BUT such a counting is done in the way that you have to drive 500 km a day. On Russian roads. In our example – with a small baby. Which is maybe possible but absolutely not fun at all.
For our track (which would be in straight line Rostov-Vladivostok, because transit doesn’t include checking the seaside) – we would get 2 days… Does it make sense to fight and pay for 2 crazy days in hurry just to cross Russia?
So we had to find the solution: applying for the longest way possible + making the shortest way possible – then we could win some days. And so we did. The man from the embassy looked at the map and made a draft: from Rostov to Baku, by Chechnya and Dagestan. That is how we got 4 days for our Russian adventure. Let’s hope it will be worth and no policeman will check our real path!
Our first book is out!
We have published our first book (for now just in Polish:) about our Central America Trip.
See, read and order here »
Congratulation guys! I am really happy you finally made it !
Oh my goodness! But Tom, tell me – why?! You foreknew that you can come to me for the help! I am working with visas many years in berlin, I could in advance consult and help to make you a long-term visas to russia (min 1 month!)… But probably adventures are necessary to you… ;-) I wish you good luck and beautiful impressions! I enjoy your stories and photos very much!