PDA

View Full Version : Moscow - has anyone ....



Touringtheworld
16-12-2013, 20:31
.. been in a Motor Caravan?

Or is the net/iron curtain still place?

vespalien
16-12-2013, 21:40
Never been there in a motorhome (and anyway my experience is some 10 years old) but all the locals' flats have steel doors & frames, the police are almost a law unto themselves and Putin is cracking down hard on anything he doesn't like - from homosexuals to political critics. The standard of driving is appalling, no-one reads the road or looks further ahead than the end of the bonnet. Oh, and the over take on the left AND right and there is no lane discipline whatsoever.

Any accident and both cars will be left where they are until the police arrive, the first one to tell 'em a good story (preferably with a $100 bill) will probably be believed. As a foreign driver they are likely to just put you in jail until they sort it out - that could be several months later. Do not expect your van to still be in one piece in the Police compound.

Interesting place, but not one I would risk driving thro with a camper or consider wilding unless I have good local contacts to look after me.

Maybe someone has a more recent or more positive view?

Siimplyloco
16-12-2013, 21:42
Maybe someone has a more recent or more positive view?

I was there for four days in February 1981 and it was wonderful! Mind you, the Mafia didn't seem to be quite so prominent then....
John

runnach
16-12-2013, 22:03
I have a friend who has a few business's in Saint Petersburg. A shroud character, who tells of many scary stories! Foot fall tourist yes, camping, NO.

Foot fall only as friend has connections!

Dezi
17-12-2013, 06:53
.. been in a Motor Caravan?

Or is the net/iron curtain still place?



We have been travelling around eastern Europe since 1991 with absolutely no problems at all, including Croatia this year.

I was in Russia,Moscow, & various other Soviet sphere Countries in 1978, but that was a different World away from where things are now.

Two links enclosed that may help clarify your thoughts.

Motorhome Trip to Russia - Club Motorhome (http://www.clubmotorhome.co.uk/articles/travel/road-trips/motorhome-trip-to-russia/268-motorhome-trip-to-russia.html)

Campsites in Russia (http://en.camping.info/russia/campsites)

Dezi

Addie
17-12-2013, 08:29
Catherine and Chris went there last year:
127 Russia - Moscow (http://www.theworldisourlobster.com/The_World_Is_Our_Lobster/Blog/Entries/2012/6/8_127_Russia_-_Moscow.html)

The absence of Fully Comprehensive insurance from UK providers meant we bottled it and left the van in Helsinki and took a "Visa Free" trip to St Petersburg
http://www.europebycamper.com/search/label/Russia

Touringtheworld
17-12-2013, 08:59
Dezi Addie,

Thank you - excellent links.

lebesset
17-12-2013, 09:36
concensus of opinion in france is to motorhome to estonia via lithuania and latvia and visit russia by busfrom there

I suppose if you just wanted to go to moscow and not st petersburg you could just go to vilnius and bus from there

Kryten
17-12-2013, 10:27
I have been to Moscow and, as already mentioned, driving in Russia is not recommended. You will stand out and become an easy target. Another option is to go to Helsinki and leave your van there and take the train to St Petersburg. There is also a bus, very cheap but takes 9 hours I think. There are also low cost airlines to Moscow various places around Europe. If you just want to experience a bit of Russian then consider Kaliningrad and that would be a lot safer to take your M/H providing you have all your documents translated in to Russian first.

vespalien
17-12-2013, 11:33
Russian trains are good, if slow. Buy all 4 tickets for a "first class" sleeper to get the compartment to yourselves (they are cheap enough, even for foreigners) or you will have vodka swilling, card playing "exuberant" Russians sharing and wanting to try out their English. If you are in the mood for a party it can be fun, but you will be wasted by the time you arrive.

If in trouble with officials, it can sometimes help to point at yourself, say "Gloopy inostranitz" & shrug. It means "stupid foreigner" and, as long as they think you are referring to yourself and not them, they will laugh and probably let you on your way. I nearly blew it once when they thought I was calling THEM the stupid foreigner.

El Veterano
18-12-2013, 07:11
You only have to Google YouTube 'Car Crash Russia' to see what the standard of driving is over there. There's clearly a reason everybody seems to have a 'Go-Pro' or similar camera on their dash. Its a no go area for driving if you ask me.

scek
18-12-2013, 08:17
definately a BIG NO.
Gangs, congested roads, and road signs that are impossible to read. Almost every car and van over there has a bump/ bits missing. Mad place to drive. Over 10million people in one city and its all run by gangs.

vespalien
18-12-2013, 08:59
definately a BIG NO.
Gangs, congested roads, and road signs that are impossible to read. Almost every car and van over there has a bump/ bits missing. Mad place to drive. Over 10million people in one city and its all run by gangs.

It's not bad if you can stay under the radar, but a BIG white van can make that hard to do. The only motorhome I saw in Russia was an abandoned German one that I was told had been stolen in Germany & illegally imported & couldn't be "processed" for Russian use.

Most of Russia is probably OK as the population is pretty thinly spread, but the 2 big cities of St Petersburg & Moscow will be much more risky. And the driving standards are as bad on rural roads as in the cities, but a whole lot faster. There is a sort of fatalism in their driving technique, "I won't crash, but if I do, it won't matter cos I will be dead"

The other thing I found was that outside the big Cities, any mispronunciation of a Russian word and there is no chance it will be understood. Even the emphasis on the wrong syllable will utterly stump them. They just aren't used to foreigners mangling their language like we are. But they will want to try their English (or German) out on you if they have any.

The Cyrillic alphabet isn't bad, 36 characters, very similar to Greek & ALWAYS pronounced the same way. In the tube stations (the Moscow underground is superb) you struggle to spell out a strange word & then you suddenly realise is says Lenin or similar!


CLICK HERE TO REMOVE THESE ADVERTS