After coming back from Tunisia (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228997
) Linza and I started thinking about our next trip. After a few conversations and a lot of beers we decided to go to Russia.
Planning route was challenge of its own. At last, we came with plan which looked OK. Ride from Zagreb to Volgograd via Lvov, Kiev and Voronezh, than cross back into Ukraine, explore Crimea, cross into the Russia, drive along Black Sea coast to Sochi, catch ferry to Turkey (Trabzon) and head back towards home.
Ferry proved to be quite a problem, because we were not able to get exact schedules and it was quite expensive. So we decided to leave Turkey out for this year’s trip. It was sad for us, because we were in contact with lot of Turkish riders and we were looking forward to meeting them.
Then we got into problem with Ukrainian visas, we were able to get only double entry visa, so we had to abandon Russian Black Sea coast.
We also had new riding buddy for this trip, Kaso. So on 31.05 three comrades met in Zagreb ready for riding. Liza and Kaso are also authors of lot of pictures in this report.
Day one, 31.05.08, from Zagreb, Croatia to Lvov, Ukraine
Our plan is to ride 950 km from Zagreb to Lvov in one day. We started at six o’clock in the morning and we crossed into Hungary one hour later.
Plan was to cross Hungary as fast as possible, but we lost some time in Budapest because my Zumo decided to took us for little sightseeing ride trough center of the city.
We had nice lunch, Kaso is professional cook, so he prepared some food for first day.
Finally we approached Hungary – Ukraine border. We heard lot of rumors about Ukrainian border, so we expected to lose some time there. But, things started to go badly on Hungarian side. Our papers were checked and rechecked, than we were told to push our bikes in some sort of garage. Border official photographed our bikes and checked WINs. One hour later we were free to go.
At the other hand Ukrainian formalities were over in less than 15 minutes. We asked border guard with mix of surprise and disbelief: “Is this it? We are free to go?”. He said: “Go”, so we were in Ukraine.
My first Ukrainian soft drink.
After some time we entered Carpathians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carpathian_Mountains
). Roads were quite scenic, but there was lot of traffic. Traffic is mix of slow moving trucks, new western cars and old Ladas and other relics of ex USSR.
At the sunset we reached Lvov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lvov
) and met with Oleg, local rider whom Linza contacted earlier and he agreed to show us the city.
Oleg took us to the hostel, and after we went to some food and beer. It was Saturday night and there was lot of people on the streets and atmosphere was OK. We enjoyed walk through the city after long ride to get there. It was too dark to take pictures, so we decided to head back to the old city first thing in the morning to take some photographs.
To be continued…