(that’s the german title for the James Bond movie “From Russia in Love”)
The 2nd try to get up at 8am was more successfull than the first try. I had to cross whole St.Petersburg by metro before I got to the M10, the road to Moscow. I was there at 11am and got a lift with Vladimir (who’s name was not just Vladimir, he drove to the city of Vladimir, too) for roundabout 600km. He was a nice guy and stopped several times during the ride at some spots worth to see along the road, like a memorial for thousands and thousands soldiers fallen in the 2nd world war (really impressive, so many names…) and nice churches, for example. When he turned left to go to Vladimir I had a little bit more than 100km to Moscow left, which I made in a small tiny Lada. Ukrop, my host for the next days lives in a small town named Troitsk in the outskirts of Moscow which takes some time to get there. From the 2nd last metro stop I had to take another bus for an half an hour to get to his place. I’m not the only visitor at his place at the moment, with Ukrop there were Muri from Greece/Spain/Poland (it’s not so clear where he’s actually from, he lived in a lot of countries) and Tina from Leipzig, the girlfriend of Ukrop, so theres always something up in his flat at the moment, what I like.
The next to days I mostly spend with organising my mongolian visa. It’s not so easy as I read everywhere before. Everywhere it was written that it’s no problem to obtain for a visa without an invitation from a travel agency or a mongolian private person if you stay in Mongolia less than 30 days but the people in the mongolian embassy want to see an official invitation. The next day I tried it again at the mongolian consulate but they told me that I have to apply in the morning (the office is open from 9am to 12.30pm and 4pm to 5.30pm but in the afternoon they just give out the ready visas), so I have to go to the consulate at monday morning again, what a pain in the ass. If they refuse to give me a visa, too I will start to hitchhike to Irkutsk immediatly on tuesday to apply for a visa there. It should be much easier in Irkutsk as I read in a couple of internet forums.
Beside all that hassles I’m really fine. Moscow is an impressive city, in a kind of strange way. The traffic is enormous and it’s really hard to cross any major road. Traffic lights are seldom and the roads have at least 3 lanes in every direction with a lot of car. In the rush hour it looks like the same with the people. I somehow understand why Moscow has the reputation of the most expensive and the rudest city in the world. What disturbs me a little bit, too, is the thing that in the city centre it’s almost impossible to find a normal shop for normal people. You can walk for kilometres and you pass just shitty bourgoise food-, coffee- or designer shops. It’s almost impossible to find a normal supermarket. It’s a very exclusive city as I’ve got the impression yet and I have to say that I probably liked St.Petersburg more. On the other hand, you can find some very nice and remote spots for example in parks here and the sights are very nice, too. Even if I expected the Red Square a little bit bigger.
Today it’s Tinas 20th birthday (congratulations!) and we will celebrate this in the city centre with a lot of Vodka for the others and beer for me, I think
From sunday on there’s a one week anarchy congress in the City of Ufa, 1500km east of Moscow. If it works out with my visa I will go there for my next destination. If I will have some trouble with the visa I will try to get to Irkutsk as fast as possible… it’s just 5000km to there, so that should be done quickly