We went to Yekaterinburg

Monday, February 9, 2009

Driving in Russia

I'm not sure if I can accurately portray our driving trips in Russia. I know I have mentioned them to a few people but it is one of those things you just need to experience. Try to picture driving on a rural 2 lane road at varying speeds of 30-50 miles an hour. The road is rather bumpy and goes in and out of small villages. Along the way there are open areas in which all drivers speed up. However, be forewarned, there are MANY policemen along the way just waiting to stop anyone and everyone. That is our typical experience on our treks to Kamensk from Yekaterinburg. Top it all off, it is about an hour and a half trip one way on a good day.

Our first such experience happened last June on our very first drive to see Colby. We were alreaady nervous and unsure of what was going to happen. The drive could make anyone sick to their stomach the way we were feeling. Luckily it was a bright sunny day, unlike our trips now. Well, we made a game out of counting the police cars along the way. I think they were about every 5-8 miles apart or so. It was funny until we actually got pulled over. Svetlana had to get out of the car and the next thing we know she is in the front of the police car. Come to find out this is a common occurrance but the way we were feeling, I almost fell apart. After about 15 minutes she came back and we continued our trip to the baby home. What a first trip that was.

Well, fast forward to this trip. No longer sunny and warm. We went back to see Colby yesterday. When we left Ekat it had begun to snow. Just light flurries so no big deal. We left around 1:45 in the afternoon and the snow kept coming. Light flurries but the windshield wipers weren't working that great. Thankfully it was still light out. We arrived at the baby home around 4 and played with Colby for about an hour and a half. We then left and we brought Tatiana with us. She had some errands to do for the baby home. The ride back was terrible. Mike and I hadn't eaten since lunch at 12:30 and we were hungry and thirsty. The snow was really coming down and the wipers weren't working much at all. I closed my eyes for most of the ride because you couldn't see much anyway. It was a typical winter storm advisory type of day when Dr. Mel tells you to just stay inside. Here they are used to this weather so everyone was still out doing their typical day routine. It got dark fast and I'm not sure how but we finally arrived back home after dropping Tatiana off around 8PM. What an adventure. Luckily this time we didn't get stopped by any police but they were out there stopping others. Oh yeah, we did get stopped by them when we left Kamensk to go to Ekat to stay in the apartment. Just another adventure and story to tell. What a journey.


Anonymous said...

Oh if that doesn't sound familiar!! We never got pulled over, but the police were thick and the driving was terrible! Thankfully we only had a 45 minute drive one way to our son's orphanage, but even then, I got sick every time! Can't wait to see pictures of your new little man!!
Jody Garber

Laura said...

We "loved" it when our driver would pull into the middle lane reserved for the electric trolleys or drive on the sidewalk just to avert the traffic. I never felt "unsafe," -- thanks to Viktor's keen driving skills!

(BTW: Jon proposed to me on a roller coaster so it's been a WILD ride with him ever since!)

Can't wait to read more about everything.

~Laura :)

Anonymous said...

During our second trip the police were very thick. One day our driver was stopped on the way to and the way back from Kamensk. We were there in May and August/September so never experienced the winter weather there. I would love to hear details about the baby home-how hot is it inside? I have photos of our daughter during the winter and she was dressed in few layers. Also what type of activities do the kids do if they are not able to go outside-are they using the large activity room? Thanks for any info-my kids like hearing these types of details.