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Eastern Euro Expedition


It's autumn and time to hit the road! In a few weeks, I'll meet up with my buddy macos in Moscow, hop in the car and journey to Eastern Europe. The approximate route is here on the map. Along the way, we'll explore the rural areas of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. A huge amount of miles in about two weeks. I'm sure there will be many "interesting" roads on which we'll travel. Start and end point will be Moscow, but I'll only be in the city for one night each direction and probably won't have time to meet with readers. If plans change, I'll be sure to make an announcement. However, I'm certain I'll return to Russia later in the winter and will try to arrange a gathering then.

I don't know any points on our route except the countries and some cities, so I'll simply arrive in Moscow, jump in the car and be surprised along the way. All part of the adventure. A few years ago, I traveled to Slovakia but only spent about a 1/2 a day in Bratislava in transit. I was with my male cousins at the time, and they simply wanted to lounge in cafes and drink huge amounts of beer. Below a few photos. What I remember most about Slovakia is the beautiful women! Just stunning, with dark black hair and very natural appearances. Less made up than Russian women. And wonderful statues throughout the city, like the one in the photo. It was very easy to find English speakers in the main part of the city, but I suspect it will be different in the villages.
Knowledge of the other countries is limited. Of course I know most are former Soviet bloc countries but detailed history of each country is beyond my frame of reference. I'll be sure to study up on the countries before the trip. Or, you can share interesting facts in the comments.

Now the main task is to figure out how to get a visa for Belarus. I need one, even though we will only transit through the country on the return. It's the same bullshit as Russia where you need an official "invitation" letter from a tour company or hotel authorized by the government. Tonight I'll search the Internet and find some company that generates such letters for a fee, which is how I also got my Russian invitation. Why do countries do this? Make solo or independent travels so difficult? I don't believe you need an "official" invitation for an American visa. My understanding is that you simply provide an address where you will stay on the form (either someone's home or a hotel). I know for certain that once you enter the country you are free to roam it from coast to coast as you please. The way it should be.

Also, I'm not certain how to handle the Russia situation. Has anyone traveled outside Russia with a foreigner via car, and then returned through the border? In general, it's necessary for Americans to register upon arrival in the country but there's no registration requirement if your stay is less than seven days. I will only be in Russia one or two days each way, but given that there are no borders in the EU nations in which we'll be traveling I'll have no passport stamps to prove this. Thus, I think I should still register to avoid any problems when I cross back into Russia. I don't wish to deal with Russian officials, be detained or pay some ridiculous bribe to enter the country again. Thoughts?

I'm very excited for the trip! Certain to be an interesting and unique journey. I will likely have a free day in Frankfurt, Germany on 23 or 24 September. If I have readers in the city who have free time to meet for coffee or take a quick walk, please send me a message.


( 70 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Sep. 2nd, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
have a nice trip!

I am going to visit Poland this autumn myself too :-)
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)
Which cities?
(no subject) - todash_tahken - Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
I see no need to register in Russia in this specific case, you will get stamps in your passport throughout your journey upon leaving Russia by car and entering Belarus. However, regarding Belarus, I'd simply advise to travel through the Ukraine.
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
He doesn't want to travel through Ukraine because of the roads. Btw, did you follow the blogger puerrtto? Here's a post on the topic from today. http://puerrtto.livejournal.com/448446.html. :))
(no subject) - moonrainbow - Sep. 2nd, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
Wow! That's a great news! I'm looking forward for your posts!
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:10 pm (UTC)
Me too! But I will probably write them after the trip, not during. For me, it's a vacation. I'm not a professional blogger, and have no obligations to pump out posts during the journey to please sponsors.
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
Nice hat (or maybe another word, in Australia they name it 'beanie').
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
I collect hats! I wrote a post about it, probably before you followed me. http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/29347.html
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
I hope - it will be sex between 2 bloggers and nations!)))))))))))))))))))))))

Edited at 2013-09-02 07:44 pm (UTC)
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
What!?! We're just friends. But that would be a glorious LJ scandal. Russian, American and a rendezvous in former Soviet bloc countries. Sounds like a soap opera! Sure to make it to TOP LJ!! :))
(no subject) - popados - Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - plushevii_zaits - Sep. 2nd, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 2nd, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - plushevii_zaits - Sep. 3rd, 2013 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Настоящая дружба - andrey_kaminsky - Sep. 3rd, 2013 07:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Настоящая дружба - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Настоящая дружба - andrey_kaminsky - Sep. 4th, 2013 05:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Настоящая дружба - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 4th, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Настоящая дружба - andrey_kaminsky - Sep. 4th, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Настоящая дружба - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 4th, 2013 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fesma94 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 07:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amandakysses - Sep. 3rd, 2013 08:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amandakysses - Sep. 3rd, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
Belarus stamp is as good as Russian one, you'll get it on the border. No need to worry about registration. And you can get Belarusian transit visa in Moscow fairly easily, if you have Russian visa already (that was the case 5 years ago for sure). Might need a couple of working days though.

Visiting Toruń, Poland is a very good choice: it's an amazing collection of Gothic buildings, and generally very beautiful little town. Check out their cathedral if you go: built in 1236, still intact.
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
I thought there was no border between Russia and Belarus? I won't have time to get it in Moscow, so I'll have to arrange before I arrive.
(no subject) - descolorio - Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
Good luck!

You have a nice hat :)
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)
I cannot consult on Belarus visa, but I would recommend to make sure that Russian visa is multi-entry. You will definetely have a stamp on leaving Russia to any EU country, so there should not be a problem to prove how many days you were here.
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:17 pm (UTC)
I have a three year multi-entry Russian visa from my February trip. So, I'm good! :)
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
You can not get Belarusian visa for that trip if you will cross Russian-Estonian border and on the back way you can go through Ukraine, Slovakia-Ukraine-Russia.
Good luck!

P.s. Pardon for my English, I just learning.
Sep. 2nd, 2013 08:51 pm (UTC)
I will arrange the visa before I leave, just to be safe. If you have questions about English language, you can always ask me. I'm happy to help!
(no subject) - ds_finance - Sep. 3rd, 2013 10:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 2nd, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)

I live in Frankfurt! I'd love to meet up but I will already be in India :( Have fun in Europe and take care!

Sep. 2nd, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, I remember now that you are in Frankfurt. Pity that you will be gone!
Sep. 2nd, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a plan!. I've been to the Baltic countries- they always have been different from the rest of soviets .
Good luck !

Sep. 2nd, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
Which Baltic country did you like best?
Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:28 am (UTC)
How exciting!! Looking forward to hearing all about it!! Make it count! Be careful. Xoxo
Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm always careful. I don't leave until the end of September, so have to wait a bit.
Sep. 3rd, 2013 07:30 am (UTC)
I`ve been in Estonia twise, I like this country. The very center of Tallinn very interesting. Second time my femaly and me had a New year cruise on the vessel. The 2 of january we visited Rakvere - a small Estonian town with anciant custle, located eighty kilometers from the capital towards the Russian border. There is a big bronze skulpture of the bull with realy big balls, the balls are shinnig bright, becouse the women who want kids rub them. It`s not a joke. Good luck again!
Sep. 3rd, 2013 07:40 am (UTC)
the balls are shinnig bright, becouse the women who want kids rub them. It`s not a joke (c)

:-))))))))))))))))))))))))))) No comments !!!!
Re: GOOD LUCK! - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 3rd, 2013 07:42 am (UTC)
I'd strongly suggest visiting the Curonian spit in Lithuania and travelling to Juodkrante there - totally adorable.
Roads in Lithuania are also dramatically better than Latvian ones. For Latvia, do not plan marching speeds over 80 kph unless you're riding a fullsized SUV :) In general, Lithuania is much nicer-looking and cozy compared to the two other Baltic neighbors of hers. IMHO, of course.
Sep. 3rd, 2013 12:23 pm (UTC)
I'm certain we will visit the Curonian spit. I read a report on it recently and it looks amazingly beautiful! Horrible roads - it's all part of the adventure when traveling in this region of the world!
(no subject) - davos_seaworth - Sep. 3rd, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Sep. 3rd, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - davos_seaworth - Sep. 3rd, 2013 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
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