After seeing a completely different side of Russia in Sochi, our travels were slowly coming to an end. In front of us were about 1700 km return, for which three days have been planned. This sounds quite relaxed, especially because the motorway had just been completed to Moscow. But if you take into account that the „morning routine“ takes 4 hours and then the cars have to be loaded, packed and checked – which can mean an additional 1 and half hours, it quickly becomes clear that 600 km per day will push us to the limit. Ok, nobody said that it will be easy. :-)
The thought of a 3 hour serpentine road facing us at the start of today’s journey didn’t really put any smile in our faces. 3 hours rodeo non-stop; I’d like to see a cowboy do that. Luckily this time everything was a bit more relaxed than our trip getting here. In addition, we have organized fixed breaks and a maximum driving speed. How quickly are you allowed to drive on Russia’s roads? Well, the speedometer always shows that we’re going to fast, doesn’t it? In addition, you should always adapt your speed to the flow of traffic.
It was a summer day with the best weather conditions. The sun was shining and so the Black Sea once again showed itself at its best. Then we got to the highway. For this day, Rostov-on-Don was our intermediate destination. Unfortunately, we arrived kind of late, so we had to fall back on a Mac Donald’s for our dinner. Tomas, Alexander and Harro were sent out for food. After Svitlana and Christian had finished eating the Macfood, Tomas voiced a „small“ request. While talking about our plans to arrive at 20:00 in Moscow in two days, he casually mentioned the Confederations Cup. Christian’s face was a single question mark. What is it and above all what does it have to do with us? The first question was quickly answered, an international football tournament, and that evening Cameroon would play against Chile. The game would start at 9:00 pm local time. The answer to the second part of the question was almost funny: „we could watch it live in the stadium“! – Really great idea, Friday evening, two days before the game and without tickets for the game …
Well, it was a pretty cool idea, thanks for the suggestion, it would have been great. The whole trip the team had done everything to make the impossible, possible and Tomas and Alexander had always taken the initiative to make things happen. But Friday at 11pm and 1000 km away – only Torsten could help. When he had read Christian’s SMS the next morning, Torsten and his wife Bianca set heaven and hell in motion. In the end it worked out but Bianca -a declared football muffle- had to go with us to the stadium. But more on this later.
Parallel to this organizational masterpiece, we left the car and walked once again into the city. Christian wanted to have his breakfast under the Pushkin monument so he could at least see something of the city. A small shop, including German speaking service, had several types of cake to offer. If one is allowed to believe Alexander, not only the cake was fantastic … but also the Cappuccino (a rascal who thinks differently). Well strengthened, we got back to the highway … but not without extensive e-mail and SMS communication with Torsten and Bianca.
We arrived in Voronezh and found the hotel rooms. In the evening at the hotel bar we could hardly believe that it had been only 15 days ago, that we were here, sat in the same place and drank our beers. At that time everything was still in front of us, we were curious about what was coming and what the trip would demand of us. We discussed daily routines, service schedules and assignments for such a project allowed no goofing off.
Today the faces look tired and the conversations are brief but in everyone’s eyes, you could see the pride of their achievements.