July 09, 2003

Russia-Playing tourist

With the sun streaming through the windows we awoke at 8am....the room was already 35 degrees. Today was a sightseeing day – a time to be playing tourist. We wandered the outskirts of the Kremlin and the GUM department store that is now full of every European brand name you can think of! The days of queuing and empty shelves are long gone, for the elite in Moscow at least.…
July 08, 2003

Russia - Red square and the Kremlin

Wow! What a day. It is now 1am and we are in Moscow. Our hotel has 5 thousand rooms and is literally a stones throw from the Kremlin! With the UK 3-hours behind we have just called our parents from the very centre of Red Square – cool or what!? We had left Vologda at around 10 am and with the exception of food and fuel breaks rode non-stop to…
July 07, 2003

Russia - Ivan the Terrible

The day started early, as our room was already muggy. With our shorts and t-shirts unpacked, our first port of call was the Archbishops courtyard. Now we’d mentioned some the gory history associated with Ivan the Terrible – so here you go. St Sofia’s cathedral and the bell tower, adorned by its huge golden globes, was built for Ivan the Terrible. This fantastic building was erected in the record time…
July 06, 2003

Russia - Vologda

Vologda city offers sightseers a variety of churches and some very gory history for good measure. A quick walk into the centre last night had given us an idea to the days sightseeing. We arrived in the main square by St Sofia’s Cathedral and bell tower to find hundreds of people leaving Sunday service from the three chapels that form the centre. As we stood and watched, processions of richly…
July 05, 2003

Russia - Heartfelt goodbyes

Our day started early with Sergio meeting us at 7:30 ready to take our luggage and us back to the compound. The goodbye was very difficult but heartfelt as we felt we owed Sergio and his family so much. Our poorly spoken Russian frustrated the situation, as we were desperate to convey our true appreciation. Handshakes, kisses and hugs were going to have to suffice, but we think that Sergio…
July 04, 2003

Russia - New Friends

We were knackered even before we left! The hotel didn’t have a lift and we after we had manhandled our entire luggage down three flights of stairs we were worn out! Ah well, its good exercise. We took the M18 towards Lodemcje Pole. It was my (Lisa’s) idea to cut across from the M18 to the A114 on the yellow road that links the two. Well, initially we went around…
July 03, 2003

Russia - Vodka makes it better

In the morning after arranging with Vladimir, the owner, at 10am to get petrol and rubles at his very modern garage (don’t ask how he got money!) we set off and returned to the bumpy M18. The bend-less road did little to distract us from the potholes and appalling road conditions, we shook us to the core before we finally arrived in Petrozavodsk.Petrozavodsk city was a surprise to us as…
July 02, 2003

Russia - Poisoned lands

We left the hotel late in the morning as we definitely needed a bit of a lie in and, instead of leaving Murmansk straight away, we decided to do some sightseeing. We headed for the largest monument we (and everyone else in Murmansk) could see, of the unnamed Russian hero soldier. After clambering up to have our pictures taken and taking in the view over Murmansk we tried to find…
July 01, 2003

Russia - Behind the curtain

Our day started early for a change – our alarm went off at 6:30. Russia here we come! Lisa and I packed up at a steady pace without too much conversation. Russia, for us, is an unknown quantity and the Russian leg of our trip is going to be our first real test – not only for our bikes and our riding ability, but also for Lisa and I personally…
June 30, 2003

Norway - Serendipity

The last few days have been frustrating as we wait for tyres. Each day we’re told, “maybe, 12pm, maybe 2pm, maybe 4pm...maybe tomorrow”. Yesterday we had some news on the tyres. Espen, one of the guys at the tourist info centre kindly called the Conti tyre importer in Norway; we were informed that Stig was now on holiday but we were given the parcel delivery number. As it turned out,…

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