The way back – Through Russia and the Baltics back to Germany

In Perm I said goodbye to Lydia, made an oil change and some minor repairs and continued towards Moscow. But this time alone. And alone I’ve found myself later in a situation where I would like to have company. After I left Perm I planned to drive the 625 Kilometer (like Google Maps said) to Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tataristan. It started snowing when I left Perm but soon I went to the state of driving-meditation which I know from India (It was the last time when I was alone driving). I didn’t really realize how the birch forests and the lakes passed by. I was focused on only on driving – my head was empty of thoughts. The highway was full of trucks and only a few cars. But even the trucks became less and after a while I could see any of them. The road became smaller and tiny villages went closer to the highway. The quality of the highway became worse and after I wasn’t seeing any car for a while I already got a bad feeling. Is this the right road? My navigation system said yes. After a while the road became a dirt trek and this one ended just in front of a huge river. Shit! There was no bridge! Well I could spot parts of a bridge on the other side but it seemed to be a seasonal bridge, which wasn’t constructed yet because of high level of water – the winter was long and snowy. Well I had a situation. I used my other navigation software on my phone, which sends me to a route, which was more than 100 KM longer. Damn it was only 150 KM to Kazan and now 100 on top.

The roads became empty. That should have made me think

 

And there it was: The end…

 

Well what should I do? The road became worse. Smaller, full of mud. And the mud became deeper. At the end I was sliding on the road, almost crashed into the trees and stopped right in front of a breaking dam. It was impossible to continue here! I left the car and screamed “fuck” as loud as I can into the wild. Well here I was: In the middle of the forest where wolf and bears are living, the next village 10 Kilometer away and quite close to get stuck in the mud. I turned, said to myself “relax Mathi. Keep cool. You’ll find a way out of this forest!”

Villages where the time stopped running

 

A typical house of Russia’s countryside

 

Churches where gorgeous here too

 

I decided to drive without maps. I manage to slide back through the mud without any accident went back to the last village and asked for the way to Kazan. The people were a bit surprised that a stranger with a weird car came to this village and asks for the way to a city, which is more than 200 KM away. They lead me into one direction, the road became good and bad at the same time – I even passed a field with flowers but eventually after one hour I’ve got to a better road, and another hour later I had concrete under my tires again and crossed finally the bridge. It was quite late and the sun was setting in the most beautiful colors. After 14 hours driving (almost without any stop) and 760 KM I arrived in Kazan. I was exhausted and only wanted my room. I wanted to relax and have a beer after this unexpected experience. But what happened? No beer in the hotel and no shop around. Not the best ending of such a day for a German…

The mosque of Kazan

 

Kazan

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Mathias Written by:

One Comment

  1. 7. September 2017
    Reply

    Hallo Matthias,

    toller Blog! Ich bin gerade auf ihn gestoßen, da ich auch über den Landweg nach Asien möchte. Zwar ist dein beitrag aus 2016 etwas veraltet, aber vieles scheint doch noch schwierig befahrbar oder gar als Reisender ohne eigenes Auto nicht möglich zu sein. Wäre schäde..

    Ich stöbere nun mal ein wenig bei dir rum und vielleicht finde ich ja ein paar Antworten auf meine Fragen. Wenn nicht, könnte ich dir denn schreiben?

    Wenn du dich noch einmal auf den Weg machst; ich bin dabei! 😉

    Schöner Schreibstil übrigens (:

    Liebste Grüße
    Lu ♥

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