What does a Russian country road look like? Something like this:
Yesterday I drove out to a Small Village about 150 km outside of Moscow, to check out a potential dacha spot. After about 100 km on a highway, I reached my turn-off point — a small Town of Petushki (“Cockerels”) —
— and called the developer to give him a heads up that I am about to take the country road indicated in my Driving Directions, courtesy of Yandex Maps (a Russian search engine). Also, according to Yandex, that road passed through a picturesque Village with a pretty church, and I wanted to check out both.
“No, no, no!” protested Ivan. “You can’t go that way. Bad road!”
“But…the Internet!” I protested right back.
In the end, the common sense had won and I decided to listen to the local, especially considering that I was driving a borrowed car in wet and muddy November conditions.
It took me about 30 minutes to drive less than 15 km on the GOOD road.
Having met up with Ivan in the Small Village and checked out the local sights (photo mosaic below), I asked him how to get on that road which would bring me to the Village with the church. He took me right to it.
What’s that dark spot in the middle? Lets take a closer look.
Oh, that’s just a small ravine, with a creek, and some burnt logs strewn around it.
The ‘beyond’ looked a little more…even? At least the parts that were visible, before the road disappeared into the forest. But it still didn’t look like something you could possibly drive on.
A curious local approached me while I was standing there with my mouth agape. I inquired about the road and the Village.
“Oh yes, that’s the right way, just about 4 kilometers up ahead.”
“But…how? I mean…the only thing you can ride down this road is a horse?!”
“Oh yes, it’s no problem at all, on a horse!”
So, ladies and gentlemen, apparently Yandex Maps (and Google, too, as it also advised me to take this ‘road’ to get from the Small Village to the Village) needs a “horseback” option, alongside “driving,” “walking” and “public transportation.” Sadly I did not have an equine handy, so the pretty church was left unseen. I will come prepared next time.
Between the Golden Autumn and the White Winter: Russian countryside in Grey November.