Monday, July 9, 2012

Greetings from Russia

Crossing a border between Estonia and Russia was a challenge and an adventure on its own. We woke up early in the morning to deal with it as soon as possible, but it took us a few hours before we actually managed to get on track. And no, we were not waiting at the border. Do you remember the cartoon with Asterix and his 12 works? The part when he was supposed to get some official form from a public office? Well that is exactly how it looked like. The first thing was, that we were told to buy car insurance before going to the border. Normally it could have worked, but unfortunately we chose to cross it on Sunday, meaning all the possible insurance points in Estonia were closed. We were driving from one to another trying to get some help just to find out in the end, that we can simply buy the insurance when we're already in Russia and that no one on the border will even ask us for one. We were relieved, but only for a moment, since then it turned out that we are missing a formal registration for our car without which we are not allowed to drive in the border region, You may apply for such registration online, but then you need at least one week of advance or you may do it in the border city Narva itself, in the international transport center, but you should also turn up there at least a day before your planned trip to Russia. You will get the registration after showing your pass and the car documents (costs 1,10 EUR) After that you will only have to pay the fee for a border bridge (3 EUR). If you are in a hurry and have some good reason to get to Russia on the same day you may try negotiating. Big smile and some basic Russian skills will be very helpful. If you are lucky you will not only get to the border on the same day but you may be able to skip a big part of the waiting queue, so it's worth trying. As long as you're in it is not as bad as some people say. No long hours of waiting or detailed control. But it helps to get all the necessary forms as soon as possible. You should get them before getting to the checking point but from our experience I can say you won't unless you ask for it. What we needed was a migration card for us both and the declaration form to enable us to take our car to Russia. Both filled in twice. Apart from that no problems or payments to be made.


  1. It's so funny (OK, maybe for you it's less funny;) to think that it took half year of preparation and investigation what kind of documents you will need on the way, and still at the end the life suprises with some new forms that have to be filled in. But I'm glad you made it through!!! And Aga I had no idea u can drive;) Greetings from AMS:)

  2. Hey you guys!
    Guess what... yes! We finally got our internet connection!!! So from now on nothing's gonna stop us from reading your blog anytime. We were so excited to see this blog growing sooooo fast in such a small amount of time (do you realize how much you've already experienced in just a few days?!?).
    Anyways, hoping you're having some fun days, better weather than us poor souls back home and hopefully Russia's got some great internet cafés so you can keep up the good writing stuff ;-)
    Greez from Germany,
    Matze & Lea