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Old 26 May 2004
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Location: Genova, Italy - Kabul, Afghanistan
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russian visa

I'm thinking about a "Round the Black Sea" trip for this summer.

Unfortunately, I'm having problems to get the Russian visa, as the consulate wants the reservation of hotels for all the trip, and the exact date of entering and leaving the country. The fact is that I don't know exactly when I'll reach the border Uraine/Russia and I don't even know exactly where I'm gonna stop for the nights during the trip.

I read in this site that many travellers rode across Russia apparently without any previous plan and freely. How was is possible?

Thanx for any advice.
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Old 27 May 2004
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Hi pietro

Get yourself a Letter of Invitation from the St Petersburg International Hostel. State where you want to go on the LOI application. They will send you a LOI that gives you 30 days in Russia, it may say 30 days in Moscow..but its OK..this is basically all your reservations in one.

I had a standard tourist visa. The LOI didnt mention the motorbike at all, that was dealt with at the border..no problems.

I did need to state the date of entry and the date of exit. You can enter after the stated entry date but you must leave on or before the exit date...failure to do so may result in an unwanted trip to moscow to obtain an exit permit! Its NOT like some countries where you have 30 days from the entry stamp day eg Iran.

Once in the country you must register your visa..its easier to have your sponsors do it, but it can be done at an OVIR office.

Once in side you are free to travel as you like. Just make sure you have an International drivers license, border insurance, and the customs declaration which you to show the police when they stop you every fifty kms.

I was able to register in St Petersburg the day after I entered the country. No other registration was required or asked for.

The Customs declaration is much the same as what you would have got in Uzbekistan. Dont lose it. I had another one spare just in case..figured it would be easier to claim it wasnt stamped than not have one at all.

Let me know if I can give you any more info..still thinking of the Penne Arabiatta from the hotel Nissa!!

Mark from Utrecht crossed Ukraine into Kazakstan last year, I can send you his email if you want it.

Are you visiting Chernobyl?



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Old 27 May 2004
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Dear Alec, nice to hear from you!

Thanx for all the info, the email of your friend would be appreciated.

I don't plan to visit Chernobyl. We don't have a lot of time this summer. Anyway, after you figured out the report of the ukranian girl was a fake, I've lost most of the interest.

Have you had any security/safety problem when you were travelling in Russia?

All the best

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Old 27 May 2004
usl usl is offline
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Hi Pietro ;

The other way is to apply for a business visa. But it will only save you from confirmed reservations from the hotels. Rest, OVIR-entry&exit dates etc. are the same.

I hope my responce to your e-mail reached you.

Have a nice trip.
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Old 27 May 2004
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Hi Kemal

You guys did pretty well in the soccer this week. Poor old socceroos are feeling a little shatterred I think.

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