We left St Petersburg on Monday for Vilnius in Lithuaninia. Around 2.30am we were woken by customs and immigration guards, after some checks and smiles they noticed our Visa had expired. "Collect your bags please and get off the train". We thought we had 31 days from entry, we hadn't. "You have overstayed your visa, you were supposed to leave by 8th June", it was now 3.30 am on 10th June.
We explained, and hoped they would let us off with a fine, but they said sorry you've got to go to Migration Service at Pskov and get a new Visa. "We don't, want a new visa we're trying to leave", "sorry it's the law". We thought they might be searching for a bribe, we asked again, "can we pay a fine", "No, sorry, you must get a new visa". They were strict but pleasant, they wrote down directions in English, helped us get a ticket to Pskov and even escorted us on the train carrying some bags.
We were minutes from the border, leaving Russian and now they were sending us two and a half hours north east back into Russia.
To cut a long story short we had a fun day in Pskov, got our new visa (not too expensive), we escaped the (not so cheap) fine (we think), after we went white at the price. She suggested we could busk, and even offered to lend us her nice hat. We explained the mis-understanding again, which she added to our record. We gave our finger prints. Talked about football, Russia were playing Spain that night (they lost) and wished us a safe trip, asking "Do
you want to come to Russia again", "Yes" we replied. Back at the border the friendly migration guards from last night asked the same questions. And added "Next time pay attention to your visa, Happy travels and God Save the Queen!".
We are now in Warsaw, heading to Poznan to see our mate Shanny, then home via Koln, Brussels, London, Birmingham New Street. See you soon! :)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
We are now in St Petersburg, after Jumping off The Great wall of China and catching the Trans Mongolian/ Trans Siberian Train. Nearly home, we'll be back in week!
It's lovely and sunny here. We hit the town last night, the plan was to explore the city during the 'white nights' , being as north as the orkney islands, in June they only have 45 mins of dark before the sun comes up again, we didn't get to see the bridge's open ... but we had a great night in a very Russian club
We've put some photos up on facebook and flickr I'll fill in the gaps on the blog later, I hope:)
Posted by Richard Edkins at 4:07 AM