On the road again

The sun was shining. It was (by the way, Henry is at the moment playing Bounce on his new Nokia) a beautiful Firday morning when Bergie came to fetch me from my apartment. I loaded my bike and we left for lunch in Atelje. Unforuntately it was closed so we decided to get the visas and eat something on the road. We changed some money and got the visas and were ready to hit the road.

It felt really good to be on the road again. I had some doubts about the condition of my bike, but it run like the russian dream it is. We had decided to take the Kings Road to Vyborg and continue from there to St. Petersburg. In the distance there were dark clouds, but we were lucky to miss the rain.

The Kings Road was mainly in a good shape and felt nice to ride. There was one section of about three km with no asfalt, but that was it. And especially the last part of the road from Hamina to Vironjoki was a really nice twisty road.

We arrived to the border at about four pm. On the way there we passed almost five km queue of trucks. We filled in the customs declarations and drove past the queue to the passport control. About thirty minutes later we were enjoying Sojuz Apollon tobacco and some soda in Russia. Crossing the border was easier than we had expected and the officials - mainly young guys - were only fascinated to see tourists on bikes.

We arrived to Vyborg at about 7 pm and checked in the Dhruzba hotel. 30 minutes and some freshing up later we were enjoying the first beer of the trip. After that we walked to the beach had some more beer and ate shashlik. This is holiday!

We had a walk in city and decided to have one more beer in a bar near the hotel. It didn’t take five minutes when we had been asked twice if we’d like some sex and once if we’d want some drugs. We finished our beers quickly and called it a night.

The next morning we left for St. Peterburg. We took a small curvy road through Primorsk. For the first 20 km the road was it pretty bad shape but after that it got better and it felt good to ride through the Russian nature with trenches on the both sides of the road.

When we arrived to St. Petersburg it started raining. The fourth hotel we tried finally had a free room in our budget so we checked in. At about 2 pm. we hit the town in desperate need of beer and food. After walking around a little we found a restaurant where Bergie had ate previous time when he was here. It was expensive in Russian stadars but we were hungry so it was good enough. After the dinner we chcked out the main sights of the town ad started our search for the local metal club. In the first supposed-to-be metal bar they played electric blues we decided to try more traditional means. And the traditional mean walkd right to our arms - a metalhead had lost his wallet and sopped us to ask for money. Before giving him any I asked if he knew any good bars in the town. Unfourtuately he wasn’t local but knew a metal store near by. Having nothing better to do we decided to check it up.We found Castle Rock without and after noticing the price of the records - about 4 euros - we decided to buy some. At the cashier Bergie asked the girl working there where’s the best metal bar in town. The answer to our surprise was that there arent’s any. In disbelief we kept asking for a metal bar until te girl offered to take us the the best bar - a rocabilly one - after her work. The store was closing in 15 minuts so we decided to wait. After a while she came out with a friend of hers and we went looking for the bar. The girls were named Veronica and Svetlana. The bar - Money is Honey - was indeed rockabilly but it was better than the traditional Russian techno you hear everywhere so we didn’t complain. The girls said they didn’t speak any english but after a moment we were conversing and learning new Russian words. At about 2 o’clock we decided to hit the hotel. Before that Veronica had arranged herself the next day off - Svetlana had a free day anyway - so that they could come for a motorbike ride.

Sunday started somewhat cloudy. At noon we called Veronica and arranged a meeting at the Chernyskshvskaya metrostation an hour later. We met the girls and hit for Peterhof - the summer palace of Peter the Great. Even though helmets are mandatory in Russia, the milizia didn’t stop us - our own helmets we had given to the girls. Peterhof was impressive. The palace itself was huge but still it was nothing compared to the sights around it - fountains and statues everywhere. No words can explain the majestic feeling of the place so look at the pictures.

With the girls on the back we rode back to St. Petersburg, left our bikes to the hotel and went to look for some food. We ended up in a Ukrainian restaurant. While waiting for the food we asked the girls if they had enjoyed the day and both of them were complitely thrilled by motorbike ride. After the food we went for some more beer and learned some more useful words. We couldn’t have had more fun without meeting Veronca and Svetlana and made them promise to call us when they were coming to Finland later this year.

After bidding farewell to the girls we went back to the hotel and checked our map deciding to aim for lake Ladoga the next day.