After spending a few weeks in the European and Ural regions of Russia, we are ready for Siberia and start to map our route. It takes us roughly from Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk – where we will arrange our Mongolian visa. The trip totals up to about 3500 kilometers. Yikes! And that’s just if you’re following the Siberian highway, not something we’re prone to do. We like to take regional roads instead of highways and want to visit a couple cities and sites along the way as well. The Lonely Planet states that driving more than 300 kilometers per day is exhausting and virtually impossible in Russia. Considering our time frame, there’s no other option than to prove that statement wrong.
Because, if you hadn’t realized it, Russia is big.
Of course we knew Russia is big, just look at the map. We sure did before we left. And starting our adventure, we knew we were going to cover a lot of kilometers. It just hadn’t become a reality yet before entering Siberia. The first ‘big leg’ in Russia was St. Petersburg to Moscow, a measly 700 kilometers. We took three nights to cover the distance. After entering Siberia and venturing east, we are really coming to understand how enormous the distances are that we’ll cover. Case in point: today we crossed two time zones in one day of traveling!
It’s not that we’ve never crossed a time zone, but only by crossing a border or getting out of a plane. Driving through multiple timezones got us a bit confused. We found ourselves discussing our estimated arrival time and not understanding how we lost so much time. We found out because one phone automatically switches timezones and the other one doesn’t – wait, what time is it again? Maybe there should be a marker on the side of the road when crossing into a new timezone. Russia sure has plenty of Europe-Asia border signs, just add a couple clocks and we’re good to go.
One positive take away of driving through timezones: no jetlag yet.