Upon arriving in Estonia, I was welcomed by Dennys Andrade, a Brazilian who has lived in the country for five years and who hosted me for three nights.
During those days I was able to attend an event called Brazilian Day, organized by Brazilians with support from our embassy.
The concept of the event is to bring together locals and Brazilians in a unique cultural environment of tropical summer vibes for the Baltic countries. It’s a great opportunity for all talents, artists and brands to share their products, ideas and art in Estonia. I was able to participate by talking a little about my project to travel around the world.
After talking to a few people, I changed my mind about visiting Russia. It was not in my plans to visit this country soon, but I was informed that the border between the two countries was secure.
I thought it might be interesting to make this change in the itinerary, so I went to the bus station to buy round-trip tickets, leaving the next morning and returning after two days.
The trip lasted eight hours and, upon passing through Russian immigration, I was given a stay of up to three months. I used a service called Couchsurfing and through it I met a Russian in Saint Petersburg who only communicated in his language. In other words, our communication was only possible thanks to the cell phone translator.
Using this resource, I was able to stay at his house and I even had him as my guide throughout the period I was in the city, experiencing local experiences and trying authentic Russian cuisine.
On the way back to Estonia, I got off the bus to go through immigration, handed my passport to the police officer and he started asking a series of routine questions. However, despite my calm response, I was invited into a small room.
During the conversation, I handed this officer my other four passports, issued in the last 20 months.
At that moment, I explained to him my goal of breaking a Guinness Book record of visiting 196 countries in the world. After his analysis, he said that I could not enter the country because I had expired my time in the Schengen area, a wide region created between European countries in which it is possible to travel freely, without controls at domestic borders. Most of its members also make up the European Union.
Negative! I manage all entries and exits from countries, so I know that I used 80 of the 90 days I have to stay in this region. The problem is that he wasn’t finding the French exit stamp, so his account went wrong. Unfortunately, the Russian immigration system is not integrated with other countries.
Well, after all the attempts at conversation, I accepted that it would be impossible to return to Estonia. At 11:40 pm, the bus I was supposed to be on continued on its way and I had to walk two kilometers into Russia to find the closest city there.
I didn’t have a warm shirt, no cash and no internet. My things were in Estonia, as it wouldn’t make sense to bring them on a two-day trip! Without knowing what time it was, I arrived in Kingisepp and just took a nap in front of a hotel that was closed.
After dawn, I contacted Dennys, who I had left my things with. He took the car and took them to the border so I could pick them up.
Once I was calmer, I rested and thought of a new route. I decided to go to London, and for that I had to return to the second largest city in Russia, Saint Petersburg. No problem. Now I would have England ahead of me and, soon, the African continent would be waiting for me.
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