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BillFloyd
26-09-2008, 16:53
Hi I am preparing for a trip from Moscow to Paris and I was wondering does anyone have any advice about what to watch out for? I am going to be going through Ukraine because I don't have a Belarus visa. I am also having trouble online finding detailed directions to print out with maps. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can get very good directions with detailed map photos please let me know.

Thank you

elis
26-09-2008, 18:48
Sounds like a fantastic adventure.

Before moving to Moscow, I briefly toyed with the idea of flying from the States to Germany and driving the rest of the way. But ran into the same problem you're having. There was a large mass of land with no available online road maps.

Wish you the best of luck. Let us know how it goes!

Pocket
26-09-2008, 18:54
I've never made the trip; however, we are planning to do a bit of driving in Europe before heading to Yekaterinburg, so I've been doing a bit of research.
Seems most folks recommend avoiding Belarus -- visa required, bad roads, bad police, etc., etc.
Few have comments on Ukraine; those who do mention bad roads in Ukraine and in that area of Russia.
Nearly everyone recommends a northern route through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany. The justifications for this route seem to be decent to excellent roads, good local attitudes toward travelers, EU insurance.
Keep us posted -- I'm especially interested in your eventual route, any customs/passport issues, insurance. We'll be doing the reverse of your route in a few months.

Transparent Theatre
26-09-2008, 19:06
Fill the tank whenever you get the chance - gas-stations aren't prevalent on Russian highways, there are long stretches without.

And watch out for the traffic cops - in addition to hiding in the bushes along the way with speed-guns, there are "DPS" points on most roads - you are supposed to slow to a crawl, draw-up to the line, and STOP (you must actually stop, not just go slowly). Then, at their invitation, or if the post is unmanned at your own discretion, you can proceed. They may wish to check your documents (with foreign plates on your vehicle this is very likely).

Keep calm, be polite, don't get riled even if they insolent, and remember that every confrontation with the traffic cops has just one reason behind it - they are fishing for a bribe. Figure 200 roubles if you haven't done anything but they are just getting annoying - 500 roubles if you've actually broken a major rule of some kind. Bribes might be less in rural areas, but beware of aggravating the situation by offering an "insulting" amount. Keep a supply of small-denomination bills handy. They will never suggest a bribe, and will keep up the small-time hassling until you say "could we sort this out between the two of us here?" or something along those lines (ideally in Russian, of course). Then you have to suggest the amount you are ready to pay.

Shouldn't be like this of course. But it is. Don't let it darken your day - pay it, and drive on. They didn't single you out - everyone is treated like this.

NEW LAW - you have to keep your dipped headlights on all the time (even during daylight hours) on intercity highways. Cops are making nice money from this currently.

Ody
27-09-2008, 19:14
If anyone has any suggestions on how I can get very good directions with detailed map photos please let me know.



maybe try to "Google Earth"...

MoscowGooner
14-12-2008, 21:25
Seems most folks recommend avoiding Belarus -- visa required, bad roads, bad police, etc., etc.


That is not true.

Police wont hassle you as long as your papers are in order. They do not ask for bribes. You get visa on the spot at the border and the roads are not worse than in Poland. There isn't that many cars in Belarus hence the roads are rather pleasantly empty.

Moreover, you are likely to catch the E30 at some point, most of which is a decent motorway all the way to Orsha. Also, as soon as you leave Minsk (and along most of E30 before the Minsk area too) You get road signs indication the way to Moscow, and this all the way to Moscow.

It is that easy.

You get enough petrol stations in Belarus along the way, they all accept euros and dollars. I would however recommend that you top up your tank whenever you get the chance once you reach Russia.

The only thing I'd advise against is undertaking this trip during winter time under heavy snow. Well, unless you are the thrill seeking romantic type that is.


MG

Qdos
19-12-2008, 22:01
I'd be more concerned about planning secure, feasible, overnight stops well in advance of your trip as foreigners car are like magnets to light-fingered night owls, unless locked in a secure pound or garage...

If you must go by road consider the (seasonal?) National Express UK > France > Moscow bus service instead, running two or three times a week from Victoria station to Leningradsky Voksal (3 day stint mind you, and you doss down on board and try not to pee all over yourself in the swaying toilet built for anorexics!)

Otherwise I agree with the earlier posts, oh, and good luck... :thumbsup:

divudi
13-01-2009, 19:33
Hi I am preparing for a trip from Moscow to Paris and I was wondering does anyone have any advice about what to watch out for? I am going to be going through Ukraine because I don't have a Belarus visa. I am also having trouble online finding detailed directions to print out with maps. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can get very good directions with detailed map photos please let me know.

Thank you

As for maps why don't you get a garmin with all the maps you can imagine. It's so simple.

I would opt for latvia/lithuania as once you cross the border you are already in EU, then belarus and the last would be ukraine.

Judge
13-01-2009, 22:45
If you must go by road consider the (seasonal?) National Express UK > France > Moscow bus service instead, running two or three times a week from Victoria station to Leningradsky Voksal (3 day stint mind you, and you doss down on board and try not to pee all over yourself in the swaying toilet built for anorexics!)

If you use this route make sure you get a transit visa for Belarus.Don't be like me and buy the ticket (100quid)and forget about the transit visa...:10241::10241:

Evitatomson
13-01-2009, 22:58
I am from Latvia originally. You can get on train from Rizhskaya Station in Moscow - overnight travel and you are in Riga ( the capital of Latvia) next morning, which is in EU. Then rent a car and simply carry on down on Latvia's West Coastal line to Lithuania, then to Poland, Germany......you will figure out the rest. there are lots travellers and once you pass Lithuania-Polish border you should be OK. just dont tell the customs guy how much currency you got with you, sometimes they report that to local "mafia".....If you want to drive with car from Moscow then take the route Moscow-St.Petersburg- Riga, same destination, no Belarus in the way.
Due to national feelings for my native Riga you will love it, promise.
Iva

BeachBum
15-01-2009, 17:37
Hi I am preparing for a trip from Moscow to Paris and I was wondering does anyone have any advice about what to watch out for? I am going to be going through Ukraine because I don't have a Belarus visa. I am also having trouble online finding detailed directions to print out with maps. If anyone has any suggestions on how I can get very good directions with detailed map photos please let me know.

Thank you
its a blast. did it in 2002... but took the Belarus route, got robbed, laid, and had a ball.