Here we are at the edge of the European Union – we are feeling like we’re at the edge of our destiny. A bt of a dramatic sentiment, maybe, but one that comes after so much planning and preparation, hard work and dreaming. Once we cross this border there’ll be no turning back and we’re going to have to depend on the veracity of the notion that the world is round to bring us home again.
It’s a nine hour queue at the border – nine hours to wonder if we’ve got all the correct document; to worry if the Russian Customs will pull us apart and charge us for it; to sweat in the silent heat of a forty degree summer’s day and, possibly worse of all, nine hours for our fellow queuees to plant stories of woe about the many roads ahead of us.
We reach the head of the line and the barriers for the Latvian half of the border – the cop there gives us some nonsense about our trucks being too big for the private vehicle queue but, of course, we’re not quite right for the commercial vehicle queue either. While we thought, ‘well, the trouble has started already’, this turns out to be the only problem and we’re through the Russian side in as much time as we can decipher the bits of paper we have to fill out.
As evening darkens we’re onto the road heading to Moscow, the red sky properly in our mirrors at last.