Day 159 | Saturday August 20
My hosts Ivan and Dascha left in the morning for work. Ivan is an IT-specialist and takes care of the ATM’s in the region. He had to go to another town and would be back around noon. With the other Ivan I visited two museums in Valday. The first one was the bell museum. Valday is well known for this. Since a long time (already since the year 1400 if I understood correctly) they have been making bells here. Small ones and huge ones. For example on all the churches in St. Petersburg the bells came from this place. Their market was not only in Russia but even in China their bells were sold. In one of the rooms it was possible to play with the bells which was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. Most of the visitors left quickly.
The second museum was the museum of history from Valday. Many artifacts (including lots of bells) from ages ago could be found here. Very interesting to see old pictures from people in their original costumes.
Unfortunately Ivan’s work was delayed and I couldn’t say goodbye to them. Ivan’s mother Nina wanted to be sure that I was allright and when I got there she gave me 3 huge bags of apples, some drinks and potatoes, she is a true “Babushka”, as they call grandmothers here.
My next stop was Tver, 220km farther away were brad Seppo found a relative were I could stay. Seppo was one of my hosts in Helsinki. 220km is a distance which I can make under the most ideal circumstances. Today there were some hills, the temperature was 22 degrees and it didn’t rain. Almost ideal. When I had 10% battery left I had done 180km (which is a good achievement) and now knew that I just couldn’t make it. I stopped at a restaurant next to the highway to ask if I could charge here. The woman didn’t speak English and luckily I was prepared for that. Before entering Russia I made a document with an explanation of my project and some basic questions like “where can I find a socket?”, “where can I find a toilet” or “can you offer me some electricity”. That worked and she showed me where I could plug in the car.
The highway to Tver was party a tollway and I didn’t know that in advance, it was 200 Rubles and luckily I had received some money from Vlad and could pay for it.
Around 7pm I arrived at my hosts in Tver. The whole family came out to see me. They lived in a single house with a huge garden, which is special in Russia and especially in a big city as most people live in apartments. They served me a good Russian meal with Borscht and meat. They noticed that I was not feeling well, gave me a lot of medicines and sent me to bed quickly. The Russians know how to take care of you.
Pictures of today