Today is another border crossing day. We earlier planned to reach Oulu which is about 650 kms. from Saint Petersburg, but now we have planned to reach Kuopio, which is 450 kms. away.
We left from Saint Petersburg at 9 am. The border was around 160 kms. The drive was very good as there was very good scenery throughout. It was very green on both sides of the road. There were many rivers and canals on the way. Russia has many rivers, main rivers being Volga, Moskva, Nevva, Ob, Ural, Samara. There are many rivers which flow from Russia into the neighbouring countries.
We reached the border at Russia side. There was first border post where our passports were checked. At the next border crossing, which was the immigration and customs check point. It took time. They took all required details from us. The problem was that the Customs at the entry point in Russia did not give us the document certifying the entry of the car into the country. The officials here took time but contacted on their own, the entry point in the country at the border between Kazakhstan and Russia, and confirmed the entry of the vehicle there and then allowed us to exit their country. The behaviour of the officials was very good.
AT the border at the Finland side also there were two border posts. At the first border post there was checking of the passport done. Then we reached second point, which was the actual Immigration and customs point. They took time. After stamping our passports, the official told us to wait in our vehicle, and that he will give the passport after about 20 minutes after verifying the passport. The passports were given back to us after about 20 minutes. While checking the stamping on the passport, we found that my passport cover was separated from the booklet. This was brought to the notice of the concerned official and his boss. They agreed that it was mistake on their part. There was no solution with them it appears.
The customs for the car was also done and third-party insurance was also taken. We left the border after about 3 hours.
We left the border and reached Kuopio after about 4 hours journey. The scenery changed immediately after we crossed border. It was lush green in Finland. The climate was much better.
We reached Kuopio by 9 pm, but it was still day light as we were approaching the arctic circle.