I left St.Petersburg at 07:20 cool and overcast and no traffic at that hour of the morning, perfect. For the most part the road and the drivers were good, 4 lane roads with 2 lanes each way or 3 lanes with one lane each way and the middle lane for overtaking, the overtaking lane alternates direction every few kilometers. There is a short stretch of new freeway in the middle that bypasses one of the cities along the way, toll RUB 200, too expensive for most because it was deserted. Some long stretches of roadworks caused delays. Speed limit through the towns of which there were many is 60 kph and on the highway 90 kph, most people were doing at least 110 kph or more slowing down to 70-80 kph through the towns or when they saw a speed camera of which there are a few. My policy in cases like this is to follow one of the locals and learn. I saw at least half a dozen police cars parked on the roadside and they did nothing about the speeding so it is obviously tolerated. There are many fuel stations along the way, I stopped for fuel twice, cost RUB 40 per litre or Euro 0.55 cents very cheap . Arrived in Moscow to blue skies with a single cloud drizzling on me at 16:50 after riding 700 km’s in 9:30 hrs, a bit faster than my GPS or Google predicted (10:20 hrs) probably because their estimates are based on the speed limit.
Walkabout to stretch my legs, somethings going on
Moscow is renowned for the design and architecture of its subway stations. I followed this guide on Tripadvisor from start to finish, it took 4 hours, 10 am to 2 pm. First I bought a Metro card, not as easy as St.Pete, you have to go to a ticket window and use sign language hahaha, cost RUB 50, then you can recharge it at a machine, though you might as well do it while you are at the window. When you leave you can return the card and get a refund. Normal cost of a ride is RUB 50, with the Card its RUB 33 or 32 sometimes.
This happened on a Sunday so there were no crowds, though as the day wore on it did get a little crowded, apparently rush hour is push and shove time. The signs are all in Russian, no English so you will need a Metro map with both languages, even then navigating the Metro is a challenge because the signage is not consistent or simply not there, even the locals get lost, I must have been asked 10 times for directions and all I could do was show them my map and shrug. Though there was one train that announced the stations in English, shocking. Once you are underground you can keep riding the trains for as long as you like, I only had to use my Card twice in the whole 4 hours and the second time was probably because I took a wrong turn and wound up outside.
The trains look about 50 years old and sound like they could explode at any moment, the noise both in and out is enough to wake the dead and you never have to wait more than a few minutes for one to arrive, in rush hour its 90 seconds.