Day 161 | Monday August 22

After all the treatments I received I felt almost 100% ago and left to Moscow. The navigation told me it was a two hour drive to the city center but it took me 3.5 hours. The traffic here is unbelievable busy.

Late in the afternoon I arrived and had a little bit time for some sightseeing. I took some selfies at the Red Square and than went for dinner with Diana. I came in touch with Diana via Vlad from Bellona in Norway. Diana has her own company, MosPrivet (HelloMoscow) and she takes care of tourists by arranging visa’s, giving city tips etc. So for me she arranged a letter of invitation so I could apply for a visa and everything worked without problems. She wanted me to taste some real Russian food and got me a huge pig.

In the city I picked up my new host Olga and her friend Katya. She didn’t find me on the website but a friend from Holland knew someone who knew her, I believe. So with 3 people in the car (2 on the right seat) and dabbing from the police now and than we drove to her house, 30 kilometers outside of Moscow. It was a big house, front garden and back garden and shared by almost the whole family. Her sister Dacha with husband Anton, father and Babushka.

Day 162 | Tuesday August 23

It’s almost becoming an habit, to visit the Dutch embassy in every capital. Today it was again the case. In the middle of the center and very close to the Kremlin Pauline and some colleagues welcomed me. They were very interested in the car and my story and took me to a restaurant for lunch. Also part of the delegation was Geert, a Dutchman living here since 20 years and now doing business for a Dutch company who produces EV charging stations. We talked a lot and the people at the embassy send some requests to companies who might be interesting for me to visit.

After lunch Geert took me to the Kremlin, he found that I really needed to see it and payed my admission. The Kremlin is the geopraphic and historic capital of Moscow and also of Russia. Cities in Russia were never surrounded by walls but only the central part were the most important churches and palaces were based were fortified. Kremlin means “fortress inside a city”. There are many Kremlins in Russia but the one in Moscow is of course the most famous one. For every building you needed to get a separate ticket and Geert got me one for the Armory Hall. A huge building with many relics from years ago.

Until so far the fun part of today. After my visit almost everything went wrong. A short recap: I wanted to take a picture of the car with the Saint Basil Cathedral in the background. The people at the embassy thought my best option was to go to the parking deck and the riverside of the red square. It was very busy and unclear and I took an exit in the wrong direction. Immediately a cop pulled me over. They checked all my documents, continued talking in Russian and than translated a text on their phone. Something with you will loose your rights for 6 months. Which rights were not clear but I knew it was not good. I tried to talk with them but impossible, it was clear what they wanted. I called Olga for translation, told me indeed that I could pay them off with some bribe money. 50 euro would do, I had that in my pocket as I received that from Seppo, gave it to them and received me license back.

Time to go back home. It was traffic jam all the way. While there cars weren’t moving at all some guy in a van hit my car from behind and started yelling at me. Weird experience.

After 2.5 hours I my navigation told me I arrived at my hosts. Unfortunately I didn’t. I drove to place with the same street name as my hosts and needed to do another 45 minutes home. When turning around I hit a bump with the underside of the car and I might have damaged a cell. Today I was not so lucky.

Pictures of these days

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