Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

This part of Mercedes Scandinavia – MBSCA – is for topics in English related to Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Meddelande
Författare
Användarvisningsbild
iciorici
Prospect
Prospect
Inlägg: 29
Ålder: 35
Blev medlem: mån 24 maj, 2010 20:07
Ort: Stockholm
Kontakt:

Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

#1 Inläggav iciorici » tis 25 maj, 2010 23:59

First of all sorry Admins in case I have posted the article in the wrong section, but I hope you will enjoy the reading :-)

After several successful attempts and comfortable trips from Eastern to Western hemisphere during the past years, now it is time for cold Eurotrip story, which I just finalized several months ago.

Route: Moldova > EU (to be read in the whole post as Eroded Ukraine) > Pooland > Lithiumania > Latvia > Baltic sea > Swengland.

3 means of transportation :
1. Car (if you can call a Mergedes E220 a car).
2. Homo sapient (Ion during navigation problems in Lvov (EU) and the customs between EU and Pooland)
3. Romantika ferry between Riga and Stockholm.

3 types of fuel:
1. ‘95-’98 year petrol for the Mergedes.
2. 3 Red bulls for the Homo sapient.
3. 40% Alchohol preferably for all the cruisers on Romantika ferry.

Leaving all the jokes on a side I would never recommend this route to anybody, especially during the winter and more dangerously driving alone. But when you were born in the United Kingdom of Moldova, where the only flights organized by the local rural state-owned international transglobal air company is to Pyongyang and Havana, then of course the only way going to Sweden is by car (bicycle was not an option).

First difficult decision – shall a take a viking ship or a Swiss knife:

Bild

However considering unnecessary ice-skating capabilities of the XC90 I opted for the Swiss knife:

Bild


1. Stage one: Moldova – Ukraine

Bild

Besides all the criticism, the roads in Moldova were in really good conditions and if you are not satisfied with their quality have a look at your lovely neighbour. I mean driving in the Western Ukraine it is a suicide for your car. You cannot even call it “driving” – it is just a game of picking and selecting the small wholes out of the big ones.
Bild

Traffic signs are missing, or I believe somebody stolen them and build him/herself a fence at home.

Entering EU (sort of) [EU=Eroded Ukraine]:
Bild

Average speed in EU (not the real EU) [ignore the hidden advertisement of Lukoil]:
Bild

Building a new highway according to the EU standards:
Bild

Ukrainian understanding of cleaning the roads during the winter:
Bild

Besides all the bad road conditions, it is a country of nice sights…
Bild
Bild
Bild

…and hospitable people: like the ones which helped with the navigation in Lvov (my igo 8 has a map of Lvov from 18th century) or like the ones in the stage two:

2. Stage two: Ukraine-Poland

I was approaching the border between Ukraine and Poland, more exactly the Rava-Ruska customs – one of the busiest customs in Europe – make sure you avoid this customs or you risk to stay in the queue for 2-3 days unless you have some shiny papers or a comprehensive reason! The colour of your passport or the number of stars on the front cover will not provide you any priority!

Stepped out the car and tried to exchange a word in Russian-Ukrainian-Czech-Polish with the poor people which were staying in the cars in front of me. I guess poor was not the appropriate word for this case. I mean how can you stay so calm and live with the idea, that it is normal to stay in the queue for 2-3 days?! And this doesn’t have any connection with the fact that Ukraine will have elections on Sunday or with the fact that Ukrainian custom authorities want to retain some foreigners in the country in order to increase the diversity and number of different nationalities in the country.

Tried to fall asleep for 30 minutes in the car and hoping that the queue of several km will be a queue of several meters. Was too cold to fall asleep so I have decided to go for a short walk to the nearest custom officer. Put my glasses on and prepared a comprehensive speech in order to pass the customs asap.

Ion:
Dear Colleague, I am studying duty law in Sweden and if you let me to pass the customs without waiting in the queue I can manage to catch the ferry from Riga to Stockholm on 13th of January, be in time on the exam which I have on 14th of January and by passing the exam I will finish successfully the university and I will serve with honour the customs authorities in Sweden like you.

Custom officer:
oh really ?! yes, no problems. Let’s go to your car and let’s try driving the opposite lane of the highway

Driving on the opposite way is the only solution to avoid the queue, however is a little bit dangerous, because those who passed the Polish-Ukrainian customs are driving very fast towards you. OK, I turned on the beam of the car and trying to scary out all the others on the highway with the fact that a nerd from Moldova is a kamikaze. I have no words how to describe what I was seeing on the right side – an immense queue, it was so *********** long, that it took me at least several minutes to drive at the speed of 100km/h the entire queue.
With the help of the Ukrainian custom officer I have passed the entire Ukrainian bureaucracy very quickly. I was even a little bit embarrassed for passing so fast and that everybody was treating me like a diplomat. I still have voice of the office in my head: “Please allow this student to pass asap, he is in a hurry to catch the ferry” :).

Polish check was somewhere more demanding and I had to respect the queue of some 50 cars and 2 hours of waiting – Welcome to EU (real EU):

Bild

The only problem at the Polish customs was that they couldn’t scan my front registration plate:

Bild

I suggested them to bring a hair dryer or to use the brain and have a look at the back registration plate – which is usually in Moldova similar to the front one.

It was already 2 AM after passing the Ukrainian-Polish border and I was driving for more than 20 hours with no brakes. Red Bull is perhaps a good energy drink, but the Recaro seats from the Mergedes are definitely not a comfortable bed, so I have decided to spend the night at the closest hotel on my way to Lublin (Poland) – which was a nice hotel at a Shell petrol station – 15 EUR per night including breakfast – what can you expect more after the Ukrainian comedy;)

3. Stage three: Poland-Latvia

… to be continued

Användarvisningsbild
André MBSCA
Site Admin
Site Admin
Inlägg: 8406
Ålder: 60
Blev medlem: tor 20 nov, 2003 12:04
Ort: Västra Götaland, Alingsås
Kontakt:

Re: Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

#2 Inläggav André MBSCA » ons 26 maj, 2010 02:00

Fantastic! What a great travel-guide á la Michelin you suport us with -
I had a great time reading this, and now standing on my toes waiting for the next part of story!
Lot of good laughing! :lol: Great! 8) :-D

BTW; I could´t resist to post your story in the "Snackzon" - part of forum,
so more guy´s have a chance to read this; viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59768

Hope that´s ok with you? :wink:
___________

Bild Brain in motion! Bild
André MBSCA, Site Admin

__________________________________________
...................................................................................................... "IN MEMORIAN" :
................. Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG -00 ......................... "SOM EN SPEGLING AV HIMLEN"
.........................................................................................................1992-2008
..Bild...Bild...Bild......Bild
__________________________________________

Användarvisningsbild
Jovani
Nästan Guru
Nästan Guru
Inlägg: 2393
Ålder: 41
Blev medlem: tor 13 maj, 2004 16:38
Ort: Göteborg

Re: Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

#3 Inläggav Jovani » ons 26 maj, 2010 09:05

Hahaha, very nice reading! :thumbleft:
-------------------
Hälsningar
Johan

CLK 200K 01a Speertuning
320E 93a lyxåket *såld*
2.5-16 92a (sommarbil)
190e 2,3 91a VEMS moddad *såld*
200 85a *såld*
230.4 76a R.I.P

Användarvisningsbild
iciorici
Prospect
Prospect
Inlägg: 29
Ålder: 35
Blev medlem: mån 24 maj, 2010 20:07
Ort: Stockholm
Kontakt:

Re: Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

#4 Inläggav iciorici » ons 26 maj, 2010 15:41

thank you André and Jovani :-)

Part II

I am looking for a famous word, used by Jeremy Clarkson and which would best describe the road from Poland to Latvia…hmm.. astonishing - no way :)… boring – oh yeahh:) !

I was pleasant surprised by very smooth roads in Poland (of course in comparison with the Ukrainian roads), it looks that some of the EU (real EU) funds reached the final destination and passed through the Czech and Polish tunnels :) (google is full of definitions for the Czech expression of “tunneling”).

Why boring ? because the road maintaining services (whatever you call them po polski) were so fast in cleaning the road and respectively pouring the salt on the road, that I couldn’t even check the dancing skills of the Mercedes in the curves.

Bild

Nevertheless driving on icy roads in Poland and seeing so many accidents was quite stressful. Maximum speed around 70 km/h, accident after accident – really difficult to drive.

Bild


The first impression about Lithuania is ….empty :). With the Eastern EU enlargement of course the customs between Poland and Lithuania was removed, but when you enter Lithuania you have those empty customs buildings and almost ruined over the past years, which creates the impression that you have arrived in Chernobyl.
Speaking of nuclear power plants, Lithuania agreed to close its only nuclear plant as part of its accession agreement to the European Union. The nuclear plant accounted for 25% of Lithuania’s electricity generating capacity and supplied about 70% of Lithuania’s electrical demand it was closed on 31 December 2009. Now guess what happened?! You don’t need to have two Master’s degrees to figure out which country will have to pay a higher price for electricity. For this reason I support Moldova’s full independence and no rush for EU integration. Go Moldova, become a second Switzerland in Europe ;).

Weather conditions in Lithuania were slightly better, which allowed to increase the speed and reach Riga in a very short period of time.
Riga is as usually a lovely place to be. I will not refer to too many details, since I have already dedicated several articles on my blog to this Swedish metropolis, ohh sorry, Latvian capital city ;).

4. Stage four: Riga – Stockholm

13th of January, 17:30 sharp
Riga – Stockholm
Route operated by Tallink
Ferry name: Romantika

Bild

Parking and leaving the car on the deck was not an option for me, but it was the only choice – they don’t allow passengers to take their cars in their cabins ;). I was little bit anxious, since it is a route in the Baltic Sea and I thought the cars may scratch each other during the trip. However the people working on the deck took care of everything – putting some bubble gums in front of each tyre and make sure that the cars don’t make a single move. I was feeling even more comfortable when I saw in front of my car a Mercedes E420 and on the left side a Mercedes CLS 55 AMG :). The only problem was the Golf Mark III from the right side – but I am not racist, so I left it as it is ;).

Bild

Taking a ferry over the Baltic Sea to Sweden I would strongly recommend. Especially I would recommend the ferry Romantika, which is the newest ferry on this route. The tickets are not very expensive, considering the distance, money you save on petrol and in which comfort you are traveling: 50 EUR for the car place and 30 EUR for a bed in a 2 place cabin.

The problem is that the tickets for the cars are completely oversold, so it is difficult to find a spare place for the car during a short period of time.

The ferry reached Stockholm just in time – 9:30, sometimes you are really impressed by this Swiss exactness, oh sorry Swedish :).

The only last complication was when the Swedish customs stopped me for a short admiring of the car:
“Wau, first Moldovan car in Sweden” :)

Officer:
Did you drink on the ferry, Sir ?

Ion:
I wish, No, Sir :)

Officer:
Please breathe in the pipe.

Ion:
But, I said No :) (sometimes Swedes are not so naive as you expect :)

Officer:
Welcome and have a nice vacation in Sweden!

Ion:
I wish again Sir, since my vacation ended 1 day before coming back to Stockholm :)

Happy End!


Bild



p.s. if you find interesting this article and you look forward to read more of them, then please help me to find a glass for left headlamp in order to be able to complete other trips :) I know it sounds like blackmailling, but I really need your help guys, those who are considering to scrap a W124.

Användarvisningsbild
Jovani
Nästan Guru
Nästan Guru
Inlägg: 2393
Ålder: 41
Blev medlem: tor 13 maj, 2004 16:38
Ort: Göteborg

Re: Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

#5 Inläggav Jovani » ons 26 maj, 2010 16:15

Talk about roadtrip!

Okej grabbar å tjejer!
Killen iciorici behöver en begagnad VÄNSTER framlampa, någon som har en till salu :?:
-------------------
Hälsningar
Johan

CLK 200K 01a Speertuning
320E 93a lyxåket *såld*
2.5-16 92a (sommarbil)
190e 2,3 91a VEMS moddad *såld*
200 85a *såld*
230.4 76a R.I.P

Användarvisningsbild
iciorici
Prospect
Prospect
Inlägg: 29
Ålder: 35
Blev medlem: mån 24 maj, 2010 20:07
Ort: Stockholm
Kontakt:

Re: Moldova-Sweden in a Mercedes E220 (W124)

#6 Inläggav iciorici » ons 26 maj, 2010 16:37

Jovani tusen tack! Really appreaciate your help!

I have posted a request http://www.mbsca.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=59767 and hopefully somebody will come back and in the mean time I am searching around Stockholm. I don't want to buy a new one, since it is quite a difference when you have an old glass and a new one in terms of colour.

Thanks once again!

Ion


Återgå till "INTERNATIONAL SECTION IN ENGLISH"

Vilka är online

Användare som besöker denna kategori: 1 och 0 gäst