Continuation of Blog 13. Mongolia

Day 293, May 13, 2019  137.729 km 

 

Danilo's Trans-Mongolian Border

50°19'25.3"N 106°29'20.7"E

50.323691, 106.489069

Contrary to expectations, the Russian border crossing actually took 3 hours. 80% of it was waiting until it was our turn. First this time passport control and Jerry and I were out of the game and Thomas had to deal with customs. This time the customs declaration had to be filled in twice. The car was inspected very intensively. Everything was filmed. The drugs were controlled by a doctor and a drug dog. Then we got the 3rd stamp and could go. Two officials spoke English and kept the order alive because the Mongols tried to push their way. One of these penetrative pushers was extremely reprimanded and had to wait much longer afterwards before being taken on. All of the officials on this Russian border were really super friendly, but again it was an easy problem that we are Europeans and it does not seem to be common here that there are Europeans. We were treated benevolently, but we noticed that they have an organizational problem with us and also with the motorhome, which does not pass through often. We noticed that they were discussing how best to control the car. There are always problems at the border with drug dogs and Jerry. Because the car smells like a dog, it is difficult for the dog to search for drugs.

 

 

It took a long time, but it was all easy going. We also had personal conversations and they showed interest in our trip. We felt astonishment and joy and also goodwill that we ventured deep into Russia here as Europeans. After crossing the border, we were already relieved, since the road conditions improved noticeably from now on and decided to look for a place to sleep right behind the border and enjoy the rest of the evening. Tomorrow we will head towards Lake Baikal.

 

50°22'17.0"N 106°27'21.2"E

50.371390, 106.455900


Day 294, May 14, 2019 138,163 km

currently on the way to Lake Baikal (we did 319 km today)

 

May 14 - May 17, 2019

The path to Lake Baikal leads through a small mountain range with dense coniferous forest. Our idea of putting our feet in Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world, fizzled out because it was still frozen at the point we are heading for. FROZEN, the largest lake in the world. Unfortunately, the ice skates stayed at home. We drove 200 km along Lake Baikal, but it was almost impossible to get to the shore because a railway line ran along the bank for the entire route or the few paths that were totally muddy. In terms of temperature, we are currently at around 12°C during the day, when there is no wind it is very pleasant. The roads are pretty good for the most part, with a few exceptions, but after we have left Mongolia, all roads are good and a gift for us. You can only drive 90 km/h, which is checked again and again, sometimes very extreme and often, sometimes in longer sections less. What we are really becoming aware of right now is how far we have come on our journey to the east. We have always had a goal in mind wherever we want to go. Now we are on the way back, our next stop is Saint Petersburg, it will take us 14 days to get there. That means at least 500 km a day. Since Russia is not that small and we are constantly on our road through small villages where you can only drive 50 km / h, you really only manage 500 km a day. These little beautiful villages are fascinating us. It is like diving into another century. These little wooden houses, dark wood, with mostly green or blue carvings around the windows, look like a picture book. There are huge amounts of wood in front of the houses, waiting to be chopped up by the residents for the next winter, which is coming in a few months. As in Mongolia, there are no water pipes here, but a water house in the village, where people get the water for themselves in large cans and for the animals in tank trailers and pay a small fee for it. Wood is used for heating and cooking. But there are power lines. Here almost everything is made of wood, the houses, the garden fences around the small houses, often color-coordinated with the color of the window frames. Today I was in a small supermarket that consisted of only one room. There was just about everything, on shelves lined up on the 4 walls. All around a solid sales counter. If you want to shop here, you have to tell the shop assistant what exactly you want, and they will pick it up and stack it on the counter. With hands and feet and laughing it was okay. But it is a very unusual feeling if you have been shopping in self-service supermarkets your whole life.

Our goal is to get back to the European part of Russia near Ekatarinenburg. But even for that we have to drive a week through Siberia. The landscape is now flat again, the birch forests are back on both sides of the road. We enjoy this landscape, interrupted again and again by the small villages and we are taking a deep breath and enjoying it very much.

Yes, Russia is really big, we can feel that right now. Audiobooks make our time entertaining. The time of having adventures is now over, just traveling back comfortably. But, even if I repeat myself, we are also becoming aware of what kind of huge adventure we had experienced so far. If on the way to Ulaan Baatar and the Chinggis Khan statue we didn't realize how far we were in the east, how far away from home, and always focused on the next destination, it suddenly becomes clear. Now the feeling of the return journey is there.

 

@ Lena 10,721 km de frango piripiri

 

52°04'50.6"N 106°59'40.7"E

52.080710, 106.994650

A village in Sibiria


15.05.2019  138.482 km Tag 295

@ Lena 10.063 km de frango piripiri

54°05'47.7"N 102°01'54.6"E

54.096581, 102.031827

Image 1: Lake Baikal, still frozen in the middle.

 

Image 2 and 3: the lake begins at Irkutsk and is no longer frozen over here. Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world

 

Lake Baikal, where fishes are smoked on the side of the road with the simplest of means and offered for sale

 

Image 1: 1900 km to Novosibirsk

Image 2: the road, always straight ahead

 

Image 3: in every small village, in every city there are monuments in honor of the fallen from 1941-1945. We saw tons of it with an infinite number of names. That is the case even back here in Siberia

 


16.05.2019  139.774 km Tag 296

@ Lena 9.429 km de frango piripiri

55°52'33.8"N 94°59'24.4"E

55.876042, 94.990117


17.05.2019  140.424 km Tag 297

xxx

@ Lena 8.684 km de frango piripiri

55.29390 85.68127

55°17'38.0"N 85°40'52.6"E

55.293900, 85.681270


18.05.2019  140.547 km Tag 298

xxx

@ Lena 7.939 km de frango piripiri

55°06'38.0"N 75°15'14.3"E

55.110560, 75.253970


Day 299, May 19, 2019 141,292 km

 

May 17-19, 2019

Day 5 of our return journey. 3000 km done of 6000 km. We have made almost half oft he route through Russia. Another 1000 km to Perm, then we are back in Europe and have left Asia / Siberia behind. For 5 or 6 days we are now going straight west. The landscape is always the same, flat, birch forests, but the birches now have their leaves in contrast to the outward journey. Spending the night is possible everywhere, although we fell in love with the truck parking spaces because everything is always there and therefore we are often using them. You get water, there is usually a small shop, food is available, many also offer laundry service. We did that yesterday, two big bags for about 5 €. Hand over in the evening and get clean and dry again in the morning. The always repeating kind of landscape is slowly becoming a boring monotony. Nothing has changed for 5 days. We distract ourselves from listening to audio books again. In the meantime we have arrived at the thrillers by Andreas Franz, which are really good and exciting. We have just finished his book "The Dungeon", which accompanied us for 3 days.

Yes, Russia is big, very, very big ... now that we have been driving straight for days and actually have the feeling that we are not making any progress, it becomes very obvious to us. If you e.g. drive from Poland to France you can do it in one day. Russia has completely different dimensions.

Tomorrow is our 300th day in the car. We have actually been traveling a bit longer, but we have left out the days that we spent at home for organizational reasons. But we both agree that we don't want to miss a single day, we don't want to disclaim one single experience. We made about 100,000 km in these 300 days.

We are currently traveling between 500 and 600 km per day, but driving back completely determines our day now, only interrupted from time to time to shop, fill up with water and usually fill up with diesel once a day.

Yes,there is another thing to mention: since you are checked by the police 4-5 times a day, this is normal here and they always talked to us and we never understood what they wanted, so we have now prepared a note on which says in Russian who we are, what we do, what our route looks like and since how long we are on the road. Since then, the checks have been extremely easy, the police read the text, smiled and let us drive on.

Our thoughts starting to play a game, we are constantly thinking of many of our favorite dishes, such as a pizza from our favorite pizzeria, a really spicy currywurst, or again like in the USA, really good German bread, a good selection of sausages and cheeses, but we also think about which country we are going to visit next and, like a busy reader, via WhatsApp remarked this morning that there are not that many left and some are just not needed on the list.

I also worry, do I go back to work, or do we hang on for another year. It's spinning in my head. But I am also aware that it is not so easy to get back in because I have now learned something completely different, a completely different view of the world and my own life and how I want to live it to have, that won´t make it very easy to jump bak in the „old“ life.

It is easier for Thomas, he is retired and can no longer work for health reasons. For me, at the age of 48, that's a conflict of conscience.

On the one hand there is the most beautiful, adventurous and most intense year of my life, I have lived and experienced as intensely as never before, on the other hand there is the treadmill / home security / safety / routine / family / friends ... and safe much more, which made it very difficult to start such a departure.

 

Well, we still have a little time, the next a few days will be the same like before, straight west. At the moment our next stop is St. Petersburg, which we also want to visit. Then it goes back to Germany via Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. After arriving we at home we will do some things, smooch mother, visit friends and then we will go to Portugal for a moment to see Lena and Sid and to have the food of the world.

 

@ Lena 7,085 km de frango piripiri

 

 

57°03'58.6"N 64°39'26.7"E

57.066285, 64.657420


Day 300, May 20, 2019 142,146 km

 

Hooray!! We are back in Europe. Unfortunately, we cannot serve with a photo this time, because there was a place with a symbol that here is the border between Asia and Europe, but it is right on a, let's say, highway and when we noticed it was a no longer possible to stop or to turn around either. And the signs were all in Russian, which we cant read. We didn't have good weather today, it was very cold and it was raining or snowing when we crossed the Urals. The landscape has changed. In the meantime we often drive through dense coniferous forests. The cities are becoming more European again. The more we come west, the cities resemble ours. Actually, from the visual point of view, we feel like we're almost at home. Unfortunately we are not experiencing much right now, which is also a good thing, we drive and drive, we are now in audiobook No. 3, "the banker" by Andreas Franz. He has written 19 books, so we still have enough material.

 

56°49'54.9"N 60°21'02.0"E

56.831914, 60.350543          Europa-Asia Border                                    

@ Lena 6.522 km de frango piripiri

57°22'54.2"N 56°54'28.8"E

57.381731, 56.908002

 


Day 301, May 21, 2019 142,709 km

So far we have been driving west. As of today it goes northwest, leaving the big main roads. But this also means that the road is sometimes much worse, and there are potholes again. The road is much less traveled, we sometimes drive very lonely through dense coniferous forests. Today we have brilliant weather, 20 degrees and little wind. But as if on command, the first swarms of mosquitoes, but we don't want to complain, if it had been a bit warmer it could have made life in Siberia hell. We notice are these extreme weather fluctuations, a day at 20°C, next day at -5°C, strong wind, we do not know that from Germany. And although we drove almost lonely through forests all day, few villages, we didn't see a single animal, no moose, no bear, no fox, no deer, absolutely nothing. Why is that?

Now that we have only 1500 km left to St. Petersburg and from there only 200 km to the border to Estonia- Russia is a huge country, a very rough country , but great for motorhomes, everything is much easier than we thought in advance, actually much easier than at home There is Eurodiesel everywhere available, you can sleep anywhere you want, the policemen are very nice and actually leave us alone, we only had 2 controls on the return trip so far. Well, and people are more helpful. We have become so used to the language problem.

Since we have been sleeping on the truck stop in Russia, it has always cost the same 100 rubles (1.43 €) per night, no matter where, as if they had agreed on it. Optimal for us as we are in a good position here and can spend the night quietly. The truck parking spaces are monitored. Although we shouldn't really need it because we don't feel like it's dangerous here.

 

 

@ Lena 5,889 km de frango piripiri

 

58°44'04.8"N 49°14'32.9"E

58.734670, 49.242470


Day 302, May 22, 2019 143,342 km

Today we have a wonderful day, 23°C, blue sky, we pass through a varied landscape. We have an infinite view of green meadows full of dandelion blossoms. The birds chirp and sing. We passed many small villages again. It is still wonderful to see, beautiful and somehow we both have to think on the film “Dr. Schiwago ”.

On the contrary to the last few days, we took our time today, did longer breaks and let everything work intensively on us again. This country has such a breathtaking nature.

You can feel deep inside that we will soon be leaving the country, there are still 1100 km to St. Petersburg today, from there another 300 km to the Estonian border. We are melancholic, it was really nice here, although it was really cold most of the time. One thing is clear to us, if they let us in again, we will come back and discover this country even further, marvel at the landscape and nature and feel well.

Regarding the mosquitoes, they are now everywhere, but still bearable here, there are no huge swarms yet, which will probably not take long at these temperatures.

When we arrive at the estonian border, it probably would have taken us around 2 weeks to cross this large country.

Almost exactly 2 years ago we were in Narwa in Estonia on the border to Russia. That was on the way back from our tour to Norway to the Nordkapp. At that time we stood there and dreamed of crossing the border to Russia someday. Now we are coming back to the EU through exactly this border.

Saturday we will probably be in St.Petersburg and meet Elena if she has time. We met her in Mongolia when she was traveling with a small Russian tour group and crossed the border with us. She lives and works in St. Petersburg and has offered to show us the city.

We also had the idea earlier to drive briefly from St. Petersburg to Murmansk and then via Kittilä to the North Cape. But the past 3 months have been quite exhausting, we need a little more rest. And we also clearly notice that another power is pulling us west towards Portugal. For those who don't know, Portimao has by far the best grilled chicken in the world.

 

@ Lena 5,187 km de frango piripiri

 

57°49'15.0"N 39°57'13.7"E

57.820830, 39.953810

one of the most beautiful and idyllic places we had in Russia and the temperatures are finally nice

The circle is complete - we are just crossing the Volga again, now further up north, just before St. Petersburg.

 

Image 1-3: Russia can also look like this, in Yaroslavl

 

Image 4: a church in Yaroslavl

 


Day 303, May 23, 2019 144,044 km

Now there are still 850 km to St. Petersburg. We got up very early today to arrive in St. Petersburg tonight. Early means 5 a.m., it has been bright here for a long time. But sometimes things develope diffently than you expect, on the one hand the weather was not good, it was raining a lot, on the other hand we were really exhausted and tired at noon and stopped for a longer break. It was the first time in a long time that we stopped at noon to sleep a little. One hour turned into three, in the evening we started again and made another 100 km, but 260 km were still missing to St. Petersburg. The only funny thing, I met the first German-speaking Russian today, who offered fresh water to us, which is really not easy here in Russia. In the evening the weather got better, we were able to sit a bit in front of the car, now St. Petersburg is announced for tomorrow.

@ Lena 4,566 km de frango piripiri

 

59°38'27.2"N 33°35'02.4"E

59.640890, 33.583990


24.05.2019  144.665 km Tag 304

Day 304, May 24, 2019 144,665 km

Visit of Saint Petersburg

Actually a rainy day was announced for today, but we were lucky because the sun was still there until evening. We received an invitation from Maxim, one of the four cyclists we met on the Mongolian border, to park in his courtyard in the center of St. Petersburg. When we stood in front of the gate, 5 cm was missing at the entrance, Rudi does not fit through (see picture below), we couldn´t go in. We drove through the city, which really shows off stylish buildings (I think neoclassicism, but I'm really not sure), one highlight after another, palaces, magnificent town houses, churches, museums, but also heavy traffic, ot so easy and realxed to drive with the camper. So we first need to find a solution for tonight, we drove to Peterhof, the former residence of Tsar Peter, 30 km before St. Petersburg.

Here we parked directly on the side of a guarded parking lot for 200 rubles (around € 3) for 3 hours. The entrance to the palace and gardens is right at the parking lot. You don't have to walk far. Because this facility is huge, there are many entrances, but this one was ideal. You can see the grounds very well within 2 hours. I still wonder how many gardeners have to be employed here, all the trees are cut accurately in shape, huge lawns have to be mowed. Gold sculptures are scattered around the palace, lots of fountains everywhere. It seems very impressive to me, but there are so many golden sculptures here that I think a little less would be good. but it's impressive. St. Petersburg is definitely worth a weekend trip by plane. Such a beautiful city. A hotel right in the center would be perfect, because everything is very easy to reach from there.

For the night we drove another kilometer further, to a large bus parking lot, 10 rubles / h (0.15 € / h), which is actually intended for the buses that bring all the Asians here. We are now completely alone here in the evening. Only the parking attendant is still there.

 

@ Lena 4,287 km de frango piripiri

 

59°53'20.1"N 29°53'11.6"E

59.888921, 29.886553

actually our intended parking lot, centrally located, really good, unfortunately 5 cm was missing for Rudi and we couldn't drive in and park and we had to change our schedule. Many thanks again to Maxim

 

The palace was built by Tsar Peter the Great, who sold Alaska, which was then part of Russia, to the Americans in order to raise the money for his monstrous but really impressive palaces and incredibly large gardens. It's kind of Versailles style.

 

59.885008, 29.908780                                    Schloss Peterhof    Palace Peterhof Parking lot directly at the castle

This photo shows the many water features and also the many polished, golden statue

mage 1: The long moat that goes to the Baltic Sea offers a view of the palace and the fountains

Image 2: View of the palace from the garden

 

Image 3: Side view of the palace

 

a couple of the golden heroes

the Hermitage Palace Bridge, picture is done by us, but by Maxim. The bridge opens at 1 a.m., forming a wonderful unit with the Peter and Paul Fortress in the background.

 


Day 305, May 25, 2019 144,944 km

 

When we woke up this morning it was raining heavily. It should stay that way all day. Thus, the repeated visit to St. Petersburg had had to cancelled. What to do? Spend 2 or 3 days here and wait? And then we decided without further ado to continue driving. But we'll be back, the city is really special. Since the weather improved on the trip through Estonia, Riga had to serve. But first, shortly after St. Petersburg the border crossing to the EU ist he next important step. Usually we describe border crossings very precisely as a help for others who plan to do it as well. But that's not necessary here, because it was one of the easiest, the most cozy, the most relaxed border crossings we've ever had. You drive past the trucks, there was no car in front of us and we were forwarded straight, parked directly in the customs area, got out, handed in the document for customs, 2 minutes later the next counter, passport control, drive 5m ahead, drug dog jumps inside the car and we were standing in front of the Estonian border, duration of the procedure 20 min. The Estonian border was the most organized border we have ever seen in all our trips. You drive up to a traffic light in multiple lanes, and whenever it turns green, the next car can drive up. You drive in front of a small house, there are 6 of them, 2 officers come out who do all in one step, look at the car, look at your ID card and the outer gate opens and you're through. This action would have taken 10 minutes, we were just unlucky that we had not informed ourselves beforehand that only 4 packets of cigarettes could be imported from Russia. But we had 10. Which we also voluntarily showed because we thought that is not an issue. So we had to clear 6 parcels, which cost 30 €. This procedure took another 20 minutes and we learned a lot, just read the customs regulations beforehand, because we could have hidden the cigarettes comfortably in the car, let's say. We deliberately chose the border at Narwa for the border crossing, because exactly two years ago we were on one of our first motorhome tours on the Estonian side and said at that time that we would really go to Russia at some point, that would be a good idea. Well, and now that we've driven 6800 km through Russia and come out of here, that makes us really proud. We stayed here for a little while and thought very intensely about how positive all the things and especially with the motorhome hav developed. When we stood here 2 years ago, we were really bloody beginners in this field, now with the experience we have gained, with the countries that we have already visited by car, we are really happy to have decided for the car at that time and did not take a short flight. The world has opened up to us in a more interesting way.

Now that we were out of Russia, which was really super straightforward, a few final words about Russia.

The most complicated thing was actually getting used to the language, or that you can no longer communicate so easily. If we go to Russia again, which we are going to do, we will prepare standard sentences in advance, such as "Can you tell me where I can get water?" You do meet someone here and there who can speak a little English, but this is rather the exception. But it is not just the language, but also the writing. You can e.g. not switch every ATM to English. The Google translator is already a solution, but as soon as someone speaks with dialect only nonsense comes out and you have to be extremely careful that no misunderstandings arise.

 

As for diesel, there is Euro 5 diesel available alo in the deepest areas of Siberia. Special feature here when refueling, you have to say in advance how much you want to refuel and pay for it before refueling. If you make a mistake, you get the money back.

The roads are really okay for the most part, easy to drive and in good condotions. As already described a few times, you can sleep and stop anywhere. The Russians were also very helpful, but you have to approach them, they are very reserved. For the fact that we have so many monuments to commemorate the fallen soldiers of World War II (there are often hundreds of names listed there), there is a monument in every town, even in the deepest Siberia, the Russians are surprisingly German-friendly.

Spend the night: You can stop in the meadow / forest here, which we did a few times. But since the dirt roads were often very muddy at that time we were visiting Russia, we switched to truck rest areas and got very used to it, because it is totally easy, 100 rubles per night (€ 1.43) , we compared it to the Walmart parking lots in the United States. They are everywhere and they are guarded. Infrastructure was in place, e.g. water pipes, there were showers, washing machines and often restaurants. If not, there were earth closets.

A little more difficult here compared to the other countries we have been to is getting new water for shower and sink. Buying groceries is not a problem at all, ok, sometimes you buy something that you think it is something different, e.g. I thought I was buying a tin of condensed milk, which turned out to be beef broth. Or spread cheese that looked like margarine to me. Most groceries cost half as much as in Germany, but there are also others that are just as expensive. You can get enough food, but the selection is often limited. This is particularly noticeable with fruits and vegetables, especially in Siberia or in rural areas. There is really little choice there and actually always the same variety, there is never salad, only white cabbage, there are potatoes, onions, tomatoes and mostly shriveled carrots, nothing more. So you have to rethink your cooking and take what is available. You can buy apples and oranges as fruit, that's it. You become clearly aware of how much our EU standard on how fruit and vegetables should look at home influences us. Because nothing looks standardized here.

The Internet: we used Megafon, costs 7 €/month, there are no restrictions. And we had internet access almost everywhere in Russia.

Regarding the weather, we had 20°C plus, sun at noon and -10°C in the evening. There are extreme temperature fluctuations. In addition, the ice-cold wind, which was very common. In no other country we did have to pay as much attention to the weather forecast as here to wear the best clothes. We had a lot of nice days, but you have to be prepared and react to the weather, drive more km if the weather is not good, and stay longer if you have good weather.

And Russia is damn big. The landscape is not so varied. Either you drive through birch forests in swamp areas for days, or through dense coniferous forests. The landscape changes, the further east you go, the meager it gets.

The gas for the gas bottles can be refilled anywhere without any problems.

The initial controls (up to 7 times in a day) when we drove to Russia for the first time abated completely in other areas. The police is omnipresent, there are an unbelievable number of speed cameras everywhere, sometimes within a few kilometers, the police still pay attention to whether you drive through solid lines. The road that leads through Siberia to Irkutsk is heavily frequented, especially by trucks. But everyone drives 90 km/h (except for a few idiots, who are everywhere), so no problem.

We really liked Russia. It is always easier and much less complicated than you would think from home. We will be back. St. Petersburg in particular flashed us deeply, this city is worth a trip, also by plane.

 

Back to our day:

After driving through Estonia for about 200km, we were already in Latvia, there was no longer a border, it was a wonderful experience, after all the borders we had recently, how simple a border crossing can be. You also didn't need a special cell phone card, we didn't have to change money. The EU really has many, many advantages that we could now enjoy again. From the border to Latvia we went to Riga with a small city tour. Riga has a very nice center, but if you look a little further around, you can still see the simplicity. Apart from that of the touristical zone, you may get the feeling that the war was just over and now the development could go on, most houses were that simple. But also belongigng to thid country, to see it likeit is. It wasn't a deterrent, it was interesting. Of course we noticed again how privileged we are to be able to live in Germany.

Since the sun was shining and we still had time and desire, we drove on to Lithuania. We visited the Hill of Crosses at Siauliai again. This is a really interesting place, a place of pilgrimage. Here is a small hill that is paved with thousands and thousands of crosses. It is a revolt / silent protest against the Russian Federation, because many many years ago fallen soldiers were erected here to commemorate soldiers who were removed from Russian politics. They were repositioned overnight. There were more and more. Today people come from all over the world to send a signal to relatives or friends who have passed away. It doesn't cost admission, it's just a hill to visit and leave your cross here. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Then we thought we could take advice of IOverlander and drive to a lake, sit down an hour in front of the car and spend the night here. But when we got there, there was a military exercise in the forest and we were between hundreds of fully equipped soldiers, so we decided to drive to the nearest rest area.

Now there are still 1750 km to Frankfurt. We have decided to go home now, we will probably get there Monday or Tuesday after a 3-month, really interesting tour through Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It is time to check that everything is in order at home, to arrange some things and then to go on to Portugal.

Two years ago on the return trip from the North Cape we travelled through the 3 Balicese countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for the first time. Back then we were totally impressed and excited, beautiful countries. Now that we've seen so much, it doesn't seem so extraordinary anymore. What should not devalue these countries, on the contrary, they are all three wonderfully suited to discover them with the motorhome, there are many places where you can stay overnight, but it is also a bit like Germany, not really a challenge. Because we are currently facing the challenge. What's next for us? We don't have a fixed goal at the moment, we want to relax a little a in Portugal and then deal with which countries we will tackle next. It's no longer that easy to find new ones. But it is rumored that we may have to drive through Turkey into Iraq, which in turn borders on Jordan, which is a wonderful country to travel and also harmless. From Aqaba / Jordan a ferry goes to Nuweiba / Egypt, through Libya, Tunisia and with the ferry to Sicily. That would be something for the winter time. For the summer season, a trip across the Baltic States, Russia / Murmansk, North Cape would be an idea that would appeal to us. Let's see what the future brings.

 

@ Lena 3,589 km de frango piripiri

56°11'39.9"N 23°34'11.0"E

56.194414, 23.569714

59.939871, 30.328645                                    Church of the Savior on Blood, Sankt-Peterburg

our return trip through Russia, 6800 km, 14 days, through 6 time zones, through 2 continents, Asia and Europe. in the eastern part, in Siberia, Russia is still as you imagine and the more you get to the west, the more modern and civilized it becomes. That was felt very impressively. It was like driving through two worlds

 

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Day 306, May 26, 2019 145,642 km

We are on the way back, we drove through the rest of Lithuania, drove through Poland. Of course, we continued to enjoy crossing borders, just drive through. And then Thomas spontaneously asked me a question: "What was your most important thing on this trip or what did you learn on this trip?"

I thought for a moment. But clearly, I'm shocked that we in Europe and Germany live so much in our prejudices that we grew up with the fact that e.g. Russia is our enemy, all Russians dubious, that Russia is not really a desirable destination. Sure, a lot of people fly to St. Peterburg or Moscow, but that's about it. And the same goes for Iran. I am feeling ashamed for that. On the contrary, we Germans could take an example in terms of helpfulness, warmth, frankness, which you can feel here with these people.

A few minutes later I asked Thomas the same question. He replied immediately because he had thought a lot beforehand. How impressive, but also safe, that traveling with a motorhome is, how intensely you can experience the world through it and how helpful people around the world have been to us who did not know us. But if we had a question, if we had a breakdown, if we needed anything. 95% of the people we spoke to immidiately helped us to move on, support, help. Nobody wanted any euro for that. We were able to experience so many great things in this regard. Only when you are in touristical areas can you feel that people are interested in money.

Now there are still 700 km to go home.

We will revise the blog at home in the next few days. But there is really nothing new until we go on a trip again. The decision was also made regarding my professional situation. At first a year was planned and then I go back to work. I will extend it by a year, my decision is that I will add another year in which we will continue to discover the world. At the moment there are two dates for which we have to be in Germany, first August / September for organizational reasons and from January to April.

 

A trip is already set, we just can't start it now, the second part of the Panamerica, the Central and South American part to Argentina, but that's only possible when Jerry is no longer with us, he is too old for the long flight. So let's hope we have to wait a long time. And then there is our wish to go to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. This is also only possible without a dog because of the strict quarantine regulations, no animal may enter the country.

@ Lena 2,544 km de frango piripiri

 

 

52°18'50.8"N 15°46'54.6"E

52.314100, 15.781840


27.05.2019  146.696 km Tag

Back in Frankfurt since 3 p.m.