Το ταξίδι του 1.000.000στου Land Rover Discovery συνεχίζεται και μετά από το Τσερνομπίλ και την πρώην στρατιωτική βάση υποβρυχίων στη πόλη Balaklava, η αποστολή βρέθηκε σε σε ένα παράξενο μουσείο αυτοκινήτων, λίγο έξω από την πόλη Tula, μερικές ώρες μακριά από τη Μόσχα. Στη συνέχεια βρέθηκε στη Μόσχα, παίρνοντας μερικές φωτογραφίες στη Κόκκινη Πλατεία, ενώ πλέον κατευθύνεται προς το Καζακστάν.
Αν θέλεις να δεις και άλλες από το ταξίδι το οποίο θα καταλήξει στο Πεκίνο της Κίνας στις 23 του Απρίλη, καλύπτοντας συνολικά περισσότερα από 8.000 χλμ ρίξε μια ματιά στο ειδικό site. Η Land Rover θα δώσει 1 εκατ. λίρες Αγγλίας (1.18 εκατ. ευρώ) στην Ερυθρό Σταυρό και στην Ερυθρή Ημισελίνου. Τα χρήματα θα χρησιμοποιηθούν για την στήριξη ενός έργου ύδρευσης και αποχέτευσης της Ουγκάντα.
[Πηγή: Land Rover]
Journey Of Discovery: Moscow to Uzbekistan
A weekly round-up of events on the road as Land Rover’s Journey of Discovery travels 8,000 miles from Birmingham to Beijing, uncovering a unique selection of stories en-route. The trip aims to raise £1m for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
After fifteen days and nearly 5,000 miles on the road the Journey of Discovery arrives in Moscow for a couple of days in Russia’s capital city. Special access permitted the Journey of Discovery team to enter Red Square, the quartet of cars parking up with iconic buildings in the background under a beautiful blue sky. The media scrum surrounding them highlighted plenty of local interest in the epic 8,000 mile trip, though a few of the team escaped for some relaxation in the form of a sauna.
Not just any sauna, but a mobile one on a truck, where being beaten by oak branches and rushing out into the snow is all part of the sauna ritual. The team happily get back into the luxury of their Discoverys after such an extreme form of relaxation.
Day two in Moscow and more special treatment saw the Journey of Discovery gain access to some of the beautiful palaces in the Kremlin. Vast state rooms of a mind-boggling scale and grandeur amazed the team, with just one of the bronze chandeliers weighing as much as one of the Land Rover Discoverys parked outside.
Former lead dancer at the Bolshoi ballet Andris Liepa explained how Moscow is a changed city, as he took the Journey of Discovery for a tour around the city he loves. A Range Rover owner himself, Liepa was instantly at home behind the wheel of the millionth Discovery driving through the wild Moscow traffic with ease.
The whistle-stop tour included Lenin Hills and the Bolshi itself, though just as interesting was Liepa’s insight into the huge changes the city has undergone, saying: “Twenty five years ago I would have needed clearance from the KGB to meet with you today,” he said. “Moscow is a very different place now.”
Leaving a sleeping Moscow early on Saturday morning the Journey of Discovery escapes the usual traffic melee to reach the countryside with ease. Over 600 miles in a day makes the run to Volgograd – previously known as Stalingrad – one of the longest on the trip. On a largely featureless road, save for pothole swerving motorists and occasional blizzards, the Discoverys shrugged off the longest day effortlessly.
Volgograd is twinned with Land Rover Solihull’s neighbouring city of Coventry. Delivering greetings from Coventry in the form of a message from the Mayor Keiran Mulhall and a Coventry City pendant, the formal handover ceremony took place in front of the Russian media at Volgograd’s deeply moving memorial to the battle of Stalingrad. The Journey of Discovery team were greeted by Irina Kareva, Chair of the City Council. Leaving with gifts of Russian army hats and good luck pennants on the cars the Journey of Discovery follows Europe’s largest river, the Volga, towards its last official Russian stop of Astrakhan, near the Caspian Sea.
From Astrakhan, the Journey of Discovery heads into Kazakhstan, entering the most remote and testing part of the 8,000 mile route. A smooth border crossing bode well, but a chance meeting with some other Land Rover drivers on an expedition in the same area highlighted that the two borders with Uzbekistan – the next stop – had been closed. A massive snowstorm had taken out 1000km (620 miles) of roads, making them impassable – even in a Land Rover Discovery.
Thoughts of blizzards fade with the Kazakh sun as the team leave Europe and enter Asia. The Journey of Discovery’s next stop would be Atyrau.
After an overnight in Atyrau the Journey of Discovery heads towards its most unpredictable border yet. With reports of the crossing taking anything from hours to days the Journey of Discovery apprehensively set out for Uzbekistan, the smooth roads turning to hard-packed, pock-marked mud as the border approached. Countless lorries queuing signalled the approach of the control, the Journey of Discovery taking advantage of Land Rover’s extraordinary capability and taking a more creative, off-road route to the frontier. After a relatively swift six hour wait the Journey of Discovery set off at midnight into Uzbekistan looking for somewhere to stay, and the promise of adventures ahead…
Journey Of Discovery: Russia’s Lost Car Generations
Outside Tula, just a few hours South of Moscow, is the most unusual car museum you will ever see.
The word museum traditionally conjours up ideas of large halls, perhaps an audio tour, and lines of exhibits all stashed with information in a host of languages. This museum has none of the above. In fact, to the untrained eye it looks like little more than a large collection of ancient Russian motors rusting in a field.
Owned and run by Mikhail Krasinets, a former Moskvich test driver, rally competitor and diehard Soviet car nut, it’s a shrine to Russian motoring but be warned: it isn’t easy to reach.
It lies at the end of several miles of heavily rutted and rough off-road trail, made even more challenging on the day of our visit by three feet of snow and a sideways blizzard whipping across the exposed hillsides. As the snow covered our path on this, a brief stopover on the 8,000-mile, 14-country Journey of Discovery, we were thankful to be arriving in a convoy of Land Rover Discoverys, otherwise we may not have made it at all.
When we did reach the top of the hill, the rusting hulks begged the question: was it all worth it? But then we met Krasinets.
His passion and enthusiasm is enormous and while funding may be severely limited – Krasinets runs the collection on little more than his own intense energy – when you dig under the surface here, you find an incredibly unique four-wheeled testament to an entire nearly-lost generation of four-wheeled Soviet engineering.
“I have one model from every year of production from the major Russian manufacturers,” Krasinets said proudly, explaining how he arrived here in the early ’90s with just 40 cars and now has almost 300.
The jewel in his crown is a 1964 GAZ Chaika. A vast fin-sporting whale-tail 4.5 litre V8 of a monster, this was a car for the Communist party elite only. Ordinary citizens could only gawp, and even the few who had the money were extremely unlikely to ever be able to buy one. They just weren’t for sale. According to Krasinets only one was ever sold privately and that was to Mikhail Sholokhov, the classic Soviet novelist.
Only one car carried more prestige than the Chaika and that was the Zil limousine, yet the Chaika was regarded by many as the finer automobile. While he was leader of the Communist party, Nikita Kruschev was entitled to the Zil, but preferred the Chaika whenever possible.
And now Krasinets has his own. “It is wonderful,” he said, beaming broadly, “not long ago for someone like me to have this car would be unthinkable.”
At the other end of the spectrum lies a 1973 Moskvich 1500, a very basic and drab tin box and perhaps the best representation you will find anywhere of what motoring meant for the ordinary Soviet.
But beyond all these, in a prestigious area reserved for Krasinets’ absolute favourite, the museum owner’s eyes truly lit up as he clambered into his enormous 1974 Zil army truck, a vehicle with which he has his own history having driven them for the army during his national service. With a 5.5 litre engine under the bonnet, this lumbering giant is well past peak condition and yet it started at the first turn of the key.
Krasinets animatedly gestured for me to join him in the surprisingly cramped cab, and then shoved me into the driver’s seat. He’s not a man to be argued with and nor was this an experience to be missed. Heaving the lengthy gearstick in the direction of first, and dumping the clutch under strict instructions not to let the engine stall, we lurched forwards as snow spun from the tyres and I fought the hugely heavy wheel (no power steering here funnily enough) to avoid mowing down any of Krasinets’ prized collection in the process.
There then followed the most hilarious few miles of driving I can remember in a long time as we bounced down the trails around Krasinets’ house, neither of us speaking a word of the other’s language, yet both united in a common bond that transcends generations and cultures born out of a shared passion for the internal combustion engine.
Back in Land Rover’s rather more comfortable and refined Discovery, our onward journey to Moscow proved just how far motoring has progressed. But it had been more than worth the drive to step back in time.
Follow us on our journey and please help us reach our target.
Find out more at www.landrover.com/million
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