Destinations: Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Somewhere on the way to Volgograd
Distance Travelled: 1336 km
Recipes Collected: 0
Moscow, as we soon discovered, was certainly full of oddities. After having our host tell us about some of his strange experiences in the city, watching clips from “Let’s Get Married”, seeing dozens of Stalin impersonators in the city center and the women walking around in the cold-rainy-windy weather with stilettos and short skirts, we came to the conclusion that Moscow was certainly a curious place, but one that we were so excited to be exploring!
As well as learning about these things with our jaws dropped, we were also able to have an enlightening interview with Danya from MPC Services. I was particularly excited as it was my very first time conducting an interview, and I’m so glad that it was such an interesting one – keep a look out for when we (eventually) upload it!
One evening, we got an interesting message from a travelling group in Moscow, requesting us to present our project for one of their flatnik events in the city. So of course we accepted! We were very happy to tell the 15+ interested attendees about the Spicyroad project and share some of our experiences from the trip so far. The event ended with everyone sharing their own travel experiences together with some cheap wine – a very pleasant evening indeed!
Next, we travelled to Kazan with a short stop in Nizhny Novgorod. The journey itself was fairly uneventful…oh, except for the fact that we ALMOST DIED! As we were relaxing in the back seat of our driver’s car, he suddenly decided to drive on the wrong side of the highway. We were screaming as our driver swerved around and nearly crashed head on with two 10 tonne trucks! Somehow, we survived but it wasn’t until we were welcomed by our amazing host in Nizhny Novgorod with warm soup, chocolate and wifi that we were able to fully calm our nerves.
The next evening, we arrived in Kazan. Again, we had a wonderful host who drove us all the way to his dacha (Russian summer house) and filled the table with delicious local delicacies! During our time with him, we also drank lots and lots of tea with yummy Chak Chak biscuits from the region, fired some shots into the sky with his revolver and spent an entire evening in his banya (complete with felt head-caps), drinking the most delicious shots I have ever tasted between each round.
In Kazan, Yannic was also especially excited to be able to meet an old friend he had met in previous travels. All together, we got to do some sightseeing, make a couple of additional new friends, have a good walk around the city center and a nice meal followed ice cream for dessert. Although our time spent together was short, it was definitely sweet.
After just 2 days of relaxing in Kazan, we started heading south on our biggest hitchhiking leg so far; almost 3 days of pure hitchhiking/camping to the city of Volgograd.
Some of us were lucky, the others….not so much.
For two of us, after just a couple of of drivers, we managed to hitch a direct 12 hour ride in a truck with a friendly driver and his friends. They bought us a hot meal, made us tea and coffee and eventually let us sleep inside the truck with him so that we wouldn’t have to camp out. The other girls however, went from having a tough time getting rides, to getting into a truck going in the wrong direction, to dealing with a creepy, sexist guy and finally being stuck in the dark and rain by the side of the road until they could find a campspot.
Let’s hope we can all meet safe and sound in Volgograd in time for the start of week #9!