Days 7 & 8: The Russian Chronicles

St Petersberg to Kiev, via Moscow

It’s been more early starts and long days behind the wheel for Alex and Simon as they set off from St Petersberg to Moscow.  They’ve got nearly 20 hours of driving to cram into two days, to make it to Kiev in time to meet Naomi, who’s flown across Europe to offer her moral support.

There was just time to have an early breakfast overlooking Nevsky Prospekt, St Peterburg’s most famous street, and the main thoroughfare for shopping and nightlife.  But they had no time to shop, they had to hit the road…

After a full day of driving they neared Moscow.  As they past Sherematevo airport they came across a huge monument which was built to mark the spot where Hitler’s invading army were turned around by the Soviets in WWII in 1941.
Thanks to google, we can see that it really looks like this….

After a 2 hour stop in a Moscow traffic jam, they reached their hotel close to the centre of this huge and beautiful city, home to 21 million people.

Day 8 began before dawn, with another 550 miles ahead of them to make it to Kiev, over another difficult border.  Luckily it only took an hour to pass the border into the Ukraine; a breeze compared to their 3 hour mission entering Russia!

They drove through Moscow’s rush hour and passed Metro stations which looked more like palaces...

…before finally hitting the open road.  With 500 miles to go, it was time to put their foot down and get on their way.

They sped past the university, home of the tallest educational building in the world. The main building was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City at the time of its construction, and remained the tallest building in Europe until 1990. 

Luckily the Soviets had built a 500 mile long highway out of Russia to the Ukraine, dating back to the before Ukraine gained its independence from Russia.

After a quick pit stop they motored onwards, heading for Keiv.  Naomi had arrived by plane, and was busy investigating restaurants for dinner – this was the news they needed to spur them on!

Then something happened to put some fright into their flight…

They were stopped by the police who requested a bribe before they were allowed to continue on their way!!  We did warn them that this may happen, but it was a scare, an expensive, they probably could have done without!

And now the bit you’ve all been waiting for… how have they managed with their challenges…!

Here is Simon with a tank in Russia, a reminder of what they call they Great Patriotic War – he’s not quite straddling it, but even Simon isn’t tall enough to climb up there!  Not a bad effort considering they’ve been in the car for up to 15 hours a day!

But all ended well!  They eventually made it to Kiev, where Naomi was waiting to take them out to dinner.  Here they are having a well deserved meal, their first proper evening meal in a good few days, and no, it wasn’t a chicken kiev!

Show your support to Alex and Simon and set them a challenge to keep their minds off the endless driving!